Okinawa Falls officials against advertising the falls as tourist attraction after recent mishap

Published on : Saturday, June 17, 2017

Okinawa FallsThe recent case of death of a teenage airman at Okinawa’s Aha Falls, which is a popular spot with service members and tourists for hiking and cliff jumping, has left some local officials looking for answers.

Shannon Purcell, 19, died on May 6 after slipping and falling into the Tanaga Gumui basin. Her death is the latest case in a stream of mishaps at the picturesque watering hole, including a death in 2014, near drownings, numerous broken bones and 10 falls since 2013 that caused injuries.

Officials from nearby Kunigami Village wanted explanations as to why American service members and tourists continue to flock to the natural wonder in the middle of the northern jungle. They say they don’t advertise the falls as a tourist attraction, park or recreational site, and warning signs are strategically placed. Locals, for the most part, avoid the area.


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