Tourist Falls 170 Feet Off a Cliff to Her Death While Taking Selfie

beautician tourist dies selfie cliff holiday
39-year-old Inessa Polenko (above) died while attempting to take a selfie on a cliff.

A tourist fell more than 170 feet to her death when she stumbled while taking a selfie from a clifftop viewing platform, the latest in a string of such incidents.

39-year-old Inessa Polenko plunged from the panoramic Gagry viewing point in Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia as she tried to take a photo of herself.

Polenko, who was a beautician and a keen Instagram user, climbed over a barrier to reach the clifftop viewing point which overlooks the Black Sea. However, as she climbed over the barrier to take a selfie, Polenko stumbled and fell onto a beach below, according to eyewitnesses.

Paramedics rushed to the scene but Polenko died in hospital. An investigation is underway in the breakaway region into the circumstances of her death.

Polenko’s funeral will be held today in Sochi, Russia, where she lived and worked as a beautician.

Death While Taking a Selfie Has Become a Modern Crisis

The tragic incident comes after a recent study suggested that taking selfies may pose a “public health problem” amid the near ubiquitous use of smartphones and social media apps.

The paper scraped news reports of selfie-related deaths as well as a cross-sectional study by the iO Foundation that found 379 people were killed while taking selfies around the world between January 2008 and July 2021.

The researchers identified falls from height as the most common type of selfie-related injury. They said that tourists were most at risk, with the most common cause of death being falling from cliffs or waterfalls while attempting to take a selfie.

The paper also found that prior to their deaths, people often climbed over barriers and fenced-off areas to reach the perfect selfie spot.

According to the study, the average age of reported victims was around 22 years old. Researchers said that victims of selfie-related injuries were more likely to be female tourists.

The researchers said that “risk treatments” to prevent selfie deaths were limited. However, the adoption of “no selfie zones,” physical barriers, signage, and provision of information on dangerous locations to social media users could help.

Image credits: All photos via Instagram