Popular vloggers among 3 killed in waterfall accident
A pair of Canadian travel vloggers died Tuesday in a waterfall accident that also claimed the life of one of the men’s girlfriends.
Ryker Gamble and Alexey Lyakh of the popular YouTube travel collective High on Life SundayFundayz died alongside Lyakh’s girlfriend Megan Scraper after falling down Shannon Falls, the third-highest waterfall in British Columbia.
Cpl. Sascha Banks of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said three adults were swimming in a pool atop the waterfall when they slipped and tumbled nearly 100 feet down into a lower pool.
Police were forced to call in search and rescue teams and helicopter units in order to recover the bodies, as the “extremely difficult” and “very dangerous” terrain combined with a heavy water flow made for a risky recovery effort.
Scraper initially slipped and fell, and Lyakh and Gamble were swept away in their attempts to save her, according to the Vancouver Sun.
They were identified in local media reports and on social media.
High on Life SundayFundayz, formed by Gamble, Lyakh and high school friend Parker Heuser, is a collective of avid travelers who track their adventures across continents on social media.
The group — which has nearly 500,000 YouTube subscribers and boasts 1.1 million Instagram followers — has been sharing videos since 2011, and has documented trips to countries like Bali, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Argentina, Peru, Thailand and Hungary.
“We post weekly videos to inspire our viewers to get out and explore the world,” the group’s Facebook page reads.
Both Gamble and Lyakh — along with pal Justis Price Brown — made headlines in 2016 for leaving a designated trail at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to film atop the protected Grand Prismatic Spring.
All three pleaded guilty to charges including disorderly conduct, commercial photography without a permit and the use of a drone. Gamble and Lyakh were ordered to pay $5,000 each in fines, and both served a week in jail.
“When standing at the face of such natural wonder, we were drawn to it,” they later apologized. “In an attempt to get the perfect shot, we acted in a way that doesn’t reflect our respect for the environment we were trying to capture.”
Tributes by devastated fans have continued to pour in across the group’s social media channels.
“These three lived harder and saw more than most see in a lifetime,” one fan wrote on Instagram. “They also inspired so many of us to travel and pursue our dreams. My heart goes out to all of you.”