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Deputies: Man jumps from cliff, drowns at Tanque Verde Falls

Ina Ronquillo

Deputies: Man jumps from cliff, drowns at Tanque Verde Falls

CREATED Jul. 28, 2013 - UPDATED: Jul. 29, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A Richard N. Baker, 29, drowned at Tanque Verde Falls after he jumped from a cliff into the water.

Deputy Jesus Banuelos with the Pima County Sheriff's Department tells KGUN9 that on July 28, deputies responded to a call regarding a rescue involving a possible drowning victim at Tanque Verde Falls.

Witness tells deputies that a man was seen jumping from a cliff into a pool of water and sustained a head injury in the process, said Banuelos.  The man did not immediately resurface and bystanders in the area immediately reacted by getting the man out of the water.

When the bystanders pulled him out of the water, he was unconscious and not breathing. Theyimmediately started life saving techniques until deputies arrived a few minutes later, said Banuelos.

Upon arrival, deputies took over the scene and assisted the individuals attempting to revive the man, said Banuelos. Paramedics arrived a short time later and pronounced the man deceased on scene.

The Pima County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Unit also assisted in the rescue.

9OYS spoke with a frequent hiker of the area who said cliff diving is dangerous but common. "One time we were watching a guy, he was going to do a jump and I was like oh gosh, no," explained hiker Pipa Velazquez. "His back just slid on the back of the rocks, so you gotta be careful. You gotta know your distance and if you don't know where to jump or hit it fast enough, you aren't going to make it so you gotta be careful."