In first descent, kayaker takes ‘calculated risk’ in 65-foot waterfall plunge; video

In first descent, kayaker takes ‘calculated risk’ in 65-foot waterfall plunge; video

Outdoors

In first descent, kayaker takes ‘calculated risk’ in 65-foot waterfall plunge; video

After eight months of preparing, Lachie Carracher climbed into his blue kayak Friday and took the plunge, a potentially life-threatening plunge, one nobody has ever done before.

Carracher, a 29-year-old experienced in running waterfalls, became the first known kayaker to descend Dangar Falls in New South Wales, Australia, dropping more than 65 feet into the foam and spray below.

His kayak emerged from the whitewash upside down, and you could see him attempting to roll over, harder to do after having tossed his paddle aside for safety.

After 17 seconds, a support team member in another kayak helped him right the kayak to cheers from witnesses nearby.

“This isn’t a try-it-at-home stunt,” Carracher told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “It’s a very calculated risk.

“I just run it over and over in my head; I’ve gone over every scenario of ‘What are you going to do if it gets out of control?’ By the time I’m at the lip I’m completely calm and completely focused.”

Carracher decided to run the waterfall after observing heavy rain in the region the week before, and with the river peaking, the time was right.

“It’s always about risk versus reward,” Carracher told ABC. “I definitely had voices in my head that I wasn’t going to do it and I should just wait for the next storm, it’s not worth breaking your back, but then I just saw it was definitely doable and I had the skills to have a safe descent.”

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