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Falls Of Falloch – Broken Back

A few weeks ago myself and a group of friends were kayaking in Scotland on our annual easter trip with Salford University. We were having a great time, kayaking some really beautiful Scottish white water.

On Easter Sunday we hatched an ambitious plan to hit 4 runs in one day and make the most of the water levels before they dropped because of sunshine. The first order of business was a 30 foot waterfall near Loch Lomond in Stirling called the Falls of Falloch. This waterfall is famous with kayakers as being a very friendly waterfall to run and practice on.

Falls Of Falloch - Broken Back

After checking it out we were all happy and we got kitted up and psyched up for what would have been the biggest drop any of us would have done. My friend dropped the falls first and did it perfectly, after seeing him do it I geared up to paddle this beautiful drop. I hit the line and tucked for the impact at the bottom, unfortunately once I plunged into the pool at the bottom I knew immediately something was wrong. My landing was slightly horizontal, my back was in agony and I couldnt move.

With the help of my friends I got out my boat and lay on rocks and emergency services were contacted. Some time later paramedics, fire and rescue crews and police arrived and got me out of the beauty spot by scaling 20 feet of rock face and a river bank. I am eternally grateful for everyones help.

Falls Of Falloch - Broken Back

When at the hospital I found out I had broken my back, the L2 bone in my lower back. I spent a week in hospital unable to stand and am now only able to walk around and move with the assistance of my mother and a back brace that looks like a stormtroopers armour.

Falls Of Falloch - Broken Back

Thank you very much for reading,

Ben Phillips

1 Comment

  1. epin

    I had a similar situation man ! Landed on my head after messing up a line on a smaller drop and lost all feeling instantly thought I broke my neck ! I’m back on the water after replacing all my gear eventually ! Hope u get back on the water soon

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