By Marjorie Nesin
---- — An 18-year-old man who jumped about 45 feet from a rock cliff in the Klondike Reservoir, landing on his back on the water below Wednesday evening, traveled by ambulance to a hospital to treat “severe” back pain and difficulty breathing after a medical helicopter failed to make the trip.
The teen managed to pull himself ashore after the painful jump into the old quarry, but emergency responders on scene reported that the man was suffering “severe” pain in the lumbar area of his spine and having difficulty breathing when they removed him from the heavily wooded area about 5:30 p.m.
The Klondike Reservoir is an old quarry in the city’s Lanesville neighborhood that serves as a source of the city’s drinking water.
No further information about the teen’s condition or his residency were available Wednesday night.
The teen was conscious and alert, according to Fire Capt. Phil Harvey, who was one of several firefighters who responded from Bayview and Central stations. They secured the teen to a backboard, then used ropes to hoist and lift him up over the cliff.
“It was a little bit of ropes and a little bit of handing him up over the side on a backboard,” Harvey said.
The ambulance transported the teen to the Plum Cove ballfield for a medical helicopter flight to a Worcester hospital. But, as that MedFlight helicopter arrived, it circled the field, then aborted the flight because of extremely foggy and inclement weather.
The ambulance drivers then rerouted to Beverly Hospital.
Two other people were at the quarry with the teen when emergency personnel arrived on scene.
Despite fencing, “No swimming” signs, and stepped-up patrols at the city’s quarries this summer, police have still arrested a number of people trespassing at Klondike and other quarries.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.