Rafa Ortiz is the first known kayaker to drop the 128.6-foot tall Big Banana Waterfall on the Rio Alseseca in Veracruz, Mexico
Kayaker took plunge plummeting down a 128-foot waterfall. Rafa Ortiz was recorded by a cam,by extreme sports photographer Lucas Gilman, while tackling the very Big Banana Falls, in Mexico.
Lucas and Rafa trekked through five miles of steaming jungle and dangerous drug growing cartels to reach the breath-taking falls with Rafa's only intention being to jump off them.
Beside the swirling whirlpool at the bottom of the falls Lucas had the job of capturing the moment Rafa made his dizzying descent. In just seconds Rafa's tiny kayak can be seen bursting out through the water before the heart-stopping dive to the water. Miraculously he got through the whole stunt with just a scratch, for which he needed three stitches, and a black eye.
Photographer Lucas, from Colorado, Denver, has followed extreme sports all over the world, but he said this was one of the most challenging shoots ever. Using two cameras, one horizontal and one vertical, he had just one chance to capture the perfect shot.
He said: 'It was not like I could say to Rafa, 'do you mind climbing up 128 foot again and doing that again'.
'It's not just a question of that, it's also obviously extremely dangerous, if he comes down any other way than the right way the chances are he will be seriously injured or even be killed. 'I just seconds to get the right shot and luckily I got it.'
Lucas was photographing Rafa, who is a Red Bull freestyle kayaker and one of only four people in the world to tackle a plus 100-foot waterfall, as part of an expedition to one of the remotest regions of Mexico.
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The waterfall is called Big Banana due to the numerous banana plantations in the region.
Lucas Gilman has also photographed other extreme kayakers, like Pat Keller dropping Upper Lewis falls in Washington State, left, and Evan Garcia drops the 101-foot tall Metlako in Oregon
Gilman took this photo showing a dozen frames of Rush Sturges' sgoing down the Runs 90+ foot tall Lower Tomata Falls ns in Veracruz, Mexico - and losing his paddle part way down