A female Isla Vista resident fell from a balcony off of 6761 Del Playa Drive on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 11:17 p.m. She dropped onto a cliff ledge and was reportedly uninjured, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Department Public Information Officer Scott Safechuck. 

The resident was allegedly attending a party at the Del Playa Drive residence and attempted to bypass partygoers by climbing over the railing, slipping and falling in the process. 

“The balcony railing is located right at the edge of the cliff,” Safechuck said. “When she went over it, there was maybe half a foot or so, but it was unstable — there wasn’t a pathway to walk along.” 

The victim fell 10-15 feet onto a natural ledge formed during the erosion process. Santa Barbara County (SBC) Fire Station 11 raised up the individual from the ledge using a topside rope system thereafter. 

The victim fell 10-15 feet onto a natural ledge formed during the erosion process. Courtesy of Scott Safechuck

“For what reason she decided to do that, I don’t have that information,” Safechuck said. “But she’s very lucky because if that ledge wasn’t there, [there is a] high chance that it would have been fatal because of the 50-foot fall into the pounding surf going against the cliff.” 

Following the fall, three male neighboring residents worked their way down to the beach through an unidentified stair system in an attempt to rescue the female resident, trapping themselves in the process. SBC Fire Department personnel guided the uninjured individuals back up the bluffs through the Camino Majorca Beach Access.

Safechuck advised the community to exercise caution around the bluff patios and balconies at all times and to report any incidents to the SBC Fire Department before they turn fatal. 

“We don’t want them falling off — there’ve been 13 deaths associated with the bluffs … so if you see something, say something,” he said. “Keep your fellow classmates and partygoers safe by reminding them that these bluffs are dangerous.” 

The SBC Fire Department continues to be in communication with District Supervisor Laura Capps regarding cliff safety in Isla Vista.

“It’s a partnership between the county, between the students that live out there, between the landlords — everyone has to come together, work together, in order to provide and implement a safety plan,” Safechuck said.

Safechuck reiterated safety around the bluffs, especially with party attendees. 

“If you see something that looks unsafe, say something. Help keep those people who might be intoxicated and may not be making the best decisions safe.” 

A version of this article appeared on p. 1 of the Feb. 29, 2024, print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Asumi Shuda
Asumi Shuda (they/them) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Shuda was the Deputy News Editor, Community Outreach News Editor for the 2022-23 school year and the 2021-22 school year and an Assistant News Editor during the 2020-21 school year. They can be reached at asumishuda@dailynexus.com or news@dailynexus.com.