Los Angeles police are spending big bucks rescuing people from Instagram selfie accidents

Los Angeles police are spending big bucks rescuing people from Instagram selfie accidents
Los Angeles County has reportedly spent hundreds of hours — and tens of thousands of dollars — rescuing people who engaged in acts of folly to get the perfect social media photograph. (Image source: KCAL-TV video screenshot)

Los Angeles County’s Search and Rescue Team is getting a workout these days as dangerous selfies become more and more commonplace human behavior in 2018.

What are the details?

According to a Monday report by KCAL-TV, Deputy Steve Doucette with L.A.’s Search and Rescue Team said that Los Angeles County has spent hundreds of hours — and tens of thousands of dollars — rescuing people who engaged in acts of folly to get the perfect social media photograph.

The report noted that two men were seriously hurt at Hermit Falls in Monrovia, California, after the two attempted to film themselves.

A Sunday report in the Los Angeles Times expounded on the men’s misadventure, in which the two unidentified men plunged into the falls’ rock pool base. One of the men appeared to break both legs, according to a bystander account, while the other appeared to dislocate his shoulder. The eyewitness said that it seemed clear that the two men were attempting to film a video for social media fame.

Doucette said that rescues of this caliber “definitely” carry a minimum price tag of around $10,000 per rescue.

“[People] go on up there and they do it and they realize ‘Wow, that water wasn’t quite as deep as I thought.’ Typically we get the broken leg, broken back, broken head and then they’re in a remote location,” Doucette explained.

Is social media to blame?

Doucette said that he feels social media is to blame in the rising — expensive — rescues, as the Search and Rescue Team made 681 missions in 2017, which was the highest amount in a five-year period, up about 40 percent since 2013.

He also had some sobering advice to those people who might want to engage in reckless behavior just to get the perfect social media photo or video.

“For every rescue that you see that we do there are ones that we don’t make,” Doucette warned.

Michael Leum, who oversees the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Search and Rescue Teams told the Times, “People will post videos of themselves jumping off of Hermit Falls or the Malibu rock pool, and they post it in the springtime when there’s a decent amount of water. But now, the water is a lot less, so what used to be a 10-foot pool is now a 5-foot pool.”

“You don’t want to be a lawn dart going into that shallow pool,” he added.