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04th Nov 2021

Zipline worker dies sacrificing himself to rescue woman stranded on ride

Kieran Galpin


The zipline was suspended 70 feet in the air

A California zipline employee fell 70 feet to his death while trying to recuse a woman suspended 70 feet in the air.

The horrifying incident took place on Saturday October 30 at La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline on the La Jolla Indian Reservation in the Pauma Valley in southern California, between Los Angeles and San Diego.

Joaquin Romero, 34, was assisting a woman on the platform get hooked into the gear when she slid onto the line. When Romero grabbed the line to prevent her from going any further, he too was pulled across.

An unidentified onlooker and friend of Romero’s told Fox News that Romero chose to let go to prevent both of them from falling.

The hero was severely injured following the fall, suffering blunt force trauma across his entire body. Using a low-angle rope system, California Fire and Rescue were able to then airlift him to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he died on Monday morning (November 1).

The county’s Medical Officer wrote: “Following admission, [Romero] was diagnosed with multiple blunt force injuries.

“[Romero] was given a poor prognosis and family decided to place him on comfort care measures which were administered until his death was pronounced on 11/01/2021.”

In a statement to KSWB, Normal Contreras, tribal chairwoman with the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians, said: “We are saddened and heart-broken over the recent tragic accident involving one of our employees at the La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline.”

She continued: “Like any employer, we pride ourselves on having a safe working environment and a safe and enjoyable experience for our customers.

“Given the circumstances of the accident, the Tribe is conducting an in-depth and comprehensive investigation, in coordination and cooperation with federal and state authorities.

“Until this investigation is completed, we won’t be able to provide any further comment on this incident.

“We ask that you join us in keeping our employee and his family in our prayers.”

The woman on the zipline suffered no injuries and Romero’s family have set up a Gofundme to help fund his funeral which can be found here.

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