[WATCH] Backpacker films himself climbing, jumping off Azure Window

American backpacker's stunt at Azure Window could land him a minimum €1,500 fine...

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
4 January 2017, 4:37pm
Hello world! American backpacker films himself jumping off Azure Window
Hello world! American backpacker films himself jumping off Azure Window
 

Walking and jumping off the Azure Window in Dwejra, Gozo was recently made punishable with a minimum €1,500 fine. However, that didn’t stop a young American backpacker from filming himself climbing and jumping off the picturesque site and posting his escapade on YouTube for all to witness.

“It is actually cracked down the middle so this might be the last time that I ever get the chance to see it,” Mitchell said in the video. “The last time a person went up there, a rock fell. I’m only going to be here once and hopefully that doesn’t happen when I go up there.”

He then proceeded to walk up the window, dangle his feet off it, jokingly say that “it’s pretty stable” and jump right off.

In the video description, he said that he had been notified later on that climbing the window was subject to a €1,500 fine and warned people not to follow his lead.

The young man recently hit the local news after he filmed himself climbing a crane to take a selfie.

Around 90% of the Azure Window’s outer layer is estimated to have eroded over the past three decades, helped in no small part by people jumping off it.

The Environment and Resources Authority last month published an emergency enforcement order announcing that no one unless authorised by ERA, should access, walk, abseil, climb or jump off the Window, or access the sea underneath it. Those who breach the conservation order will be prosecuted in court, with penalties set at a minimum of €1,500 and a maximum of imprisonment.

Environment minister Jose Herrera pledged not to make light of security of the Window, admitting that environmental enforcement in Malta has been traditionally lax over the years.

“I am fixated with boosting environmental enforcement. Introducing pro-environment policies without adding the necessary enforcement is like throwing dust in people’s eyes.”