Castro Valley teens recount their heroic efforts that saved the life of a young man cliff diving

Cal Fire credits four teenage friends from Castro Valley with saving a cliff diver’s life.

On June 10, childhood friends Lauren Franz, Jacklyn Scheberies, Sarah Livingston and Malia Henry, all 18 years-old, took a trip to Beale Falls in Grass Valley. The friends have been a tight knit group since they were 6 years-old, growing up on local competitive swim teams.

They spent the day swimming at Beale Falls and were lounging on the shore when a group of young men climbed over a fence to the 70 foot cliff above them. 

“When he was getting ready to jump we were all yelling from the bottom, saying, ‘No! Don’t jump! Don’t do it!” said Schenberies. 

One young man - identified only as a former football player - took the leap off the cliff. 

“And he kind of landed in a U shape,” said Franz. “He hit his head, just smack on the water and knocked himself out.”

The young man went underwater and didn’t surface. Franz and Schenberies immediately jumped into the water to search for the man. Two of the man’s friends also jumped in to help. 

Livingston and Henry called 911 from the shore.

But the two young men struggled in the water, so Livingston and Henry jumped in to take their place in the search. 

“I found his body laying face down in the water, not moving or anything,” said Schenberies, who was able to turn him over with Franz’s help. But it would take all four girls to get the man to shore. 

“It really took all four of us, because he was big. He was a football player,” said Henry.

Two of the girls are CPR certified, but the young man regained consciousness and started coughing once back on land. 

Cal Fire sent a rescue helicopter to airlift the young man to a local hospital, where he spent the night. 

“There is no doubt in my mind that those girls saved that young man’s life,” said Cal Fire NEU Division Chief Jim Mathias. 

The teenage friends are happy they were at the right place at the right time to help, and say that teamwork really does make a difference.