Hiker shares safety message after terrifying rappelling accident at Battle Creek Falls

Jul 13, 2023, 7:09 PM

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — A hiker shares her safety message saying several families at a popular Utah County waterfall watched a rappelling accident in shock and horror.

Even on a short, family hike with her husband and daughter, Bekka Fullmer is always prepared. She said she has first aid and CPR training and carries tons of water and a first aid kit.

When she and her family reached Battle Creek Falls on Saturday afternoon, Bekka could see the falls didn’t look like they have in drier years.

“I immediately noticed that the water was a lot heavier than it has been in years past,” she said, walking up to the falls on Thursday.

They took some quick family photos as one group of rappelers finished their descents. Fullmer said she didn’t want to get too close to the water because she noticed loose rocks falling down from the cliffside.

As they looked up at the falls, Fullmer watched a second group approach the top of the falls to rappel down, and she became concerned.

“I noticed that she had nobody belaying her, or at least doing a fireman hold watching from below,” Fullmer recalled.

As an experienced rappeler herself, Fullmer explained that she always carries walkie-talkies so that everyone rappelling can communicate.

As the woman began her journey down in the thickest part of the waterfall, her foot caught on the wet, slippery rock.

“She had one leg under her, and her other leg had come up past her head like this, like she was doing splits on the side of the wall,” Fullmer explained, using her arms to demonstrate the unnatural and contorted position.

She said the woman appeared to go into shock and began seizing.

“And after that happened, she hung there for a moment and then passed out,” she said.

Fullmer said she yelled to the woman next to her to call 911.

“I started running up the hill to go to the top. Her companions at the top had no clue at first what was going on,” Fullmer recounted.

That’s because they couldn’t see the woman over the cliffside. They also had no way to help her.

“There were no proper knots to let her loose,” Fullmer explained. “And so, her companions were at this disadvantage where they could watch her, but there was nothing they could do.”

Bekka Fullmer recalling the dramatic experience. (KSL TV)

With both rappelling and first responder experience, Fullmer said she was ready to help with CPR and to assist the woman however she needed. But she wasn’t sure what would happen.

“I honestly thought that she was going to have a major head injury, or possibly die,” Fullmer said.

After about 15 minutes of the woman hanging off the cliff, water rushing over her face and limp body, Fullmer said the rappeler came to, completely disoriented. But she was able to let herself down.

“I was I was so grateful,” Fullmer said. The group appeared to not want Fullmer’s assistance, so she continued the hike with her husband and daughter.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office said they initially dispatched their search and rescue team once that 911 call came in, but they called it off because the woman’s friends decided to take her to the hospital themselves.

Fullmer isn’t sure how the woman is doing now and hopes the woman is recovering.

But she’s hoping others can take an important lesson away from this experience, that no matter where they’re headed outdoors– or what activity they’re doing– it’s important to be knowledgeable and take extra safety precautions.

That’s why even on a short family hike, Fullmer carries extra water, that first aid kit, plus her training if something goes wrong.

“You can always overprepare and not need it,” She said. “But when you’re underprepared and need it, that’s not the time to say, ‘I don’t have the things that I need to be safe.'”

KSL 5 TV Live

Accidents & Injuries

For many, Memorial Day weekend means free time and kicking off the unofficial start of summer. H...

Karah Brackin

With arrival of Memorial Day weekend, 100 Deadliest Days on Utah’s roads about to start

Memorial Day may be the unofficial start to summer, but it is also the start of the 100 Deadliest Days on Utah roads.

5 hours ago

FILE PHOTO - One person died early Tuesday morning following a one-vehicle crash in Uintah County. ...

Mark Jones

One person killed in Uintah County crash early Tuesday morning

One person died following a one-vehicle crash early Tuesday morning, according to the Department of Public Safety.

1 day ago

A photo shows a cheer team prayer circle at Reagan's house, with "heart attack" hearts on the garag...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Family is ‘praying for miracles’ after two girls hit by car in Spanish Fork

The Spanish Fork community is rooting for the recovery of two girls who were hit by a car over the weekend. Those girls are hospitalized at Primary Children’s, where both families have been staying by their sides.

2 days ago

Divers and rescue crews at the Deer Creek Reservoir searching for the body of the semi driver....

Mark Jones, Josh Ellis and Karah Brackin, KSL TV

Semi driver found dead after crashing into Deer Creek Reservoir

The driver of the semitruck that crashed into the Deer Creek Reservoir was found dead in the reservoir Tuesday morning. 

2 days ago

A street sign of 2300 E. Canyon Road. On Saturday, two teen girls where hospitalized after attempti...

Brianna Chavez

Plans in place to add traffic signal to Spanish Fork intersection where two girls were hit

UDOT and Spanish Fork officials are working on getting a traffic signal at the intersection where two girls were critically injured while crossing the street.

2 days ago

Elder Paul Hardin and Sister Mary Hardin, missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day...

Mark Jones

Sister missionary, 65, killed in California crash

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Sunday evening a sister missionary died following a vehicle crash Saturday night in California.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Hiker shares safety message after terrifying rappelling accident at Battle Creek Falls