Rochester Falls: Stuntman Marcel Renel “Bann zenn zordi-la pann aprann, zot nek zété, zot krwar fasil”

The water is calm. It does not look like it took the life of Yolanda Dig Dig, 14 years old, last Monday November 14, 2016. The bold ones seem to have learned the lesson. For the moment at least. Stuntmen who jumped from the waterfalls to please the visitors and especially to make a few rupees are not there.

[Inset] Marcel Renel was one of those who made the 'great dive'.

[Inset] Marcel Renel was one of those who made the ‘great dive’.

Inn arété sa. Lapolis fer fer letour aster, dir banla pa ress la,” says Marcel Renel. It must be said that the 53-year-old man knows the place like his pocket, or even better. He has been working there for 10 years. He also made the “big leap”.

Nostalgia takes over. Formerly the expanse of water was much larger. “Délo ti pé al ziska kot sa pié zanblon la,” he said, pointing to the location of the tree in the distance. According to him, the water has receded over two meters. “Monn trouv li pé sek tigit tigit. Akoz sa bann zafer polision la sa, éna mwin délo.

Certainly, there were deaths there. Three in ten years, if we rely on his memory. What he says about it is “Bizin pa fer impridans.” But what particularly worries him is the gradual disappearance of this unique place.

The fear of emptiness, he does not know. “It did not rain, the rocks are not slippery.

Anyway, it’s all about respect. We must not challenge nature, we must know our limits. “The pelvis is three meters deep. Do not venture there, especially when it has not rained because the water is muddy.” To “jump”, you have to place yourself in a specific place, not in the middle of the waterfall.

Marcel remembers the time when he and his friends were making the big dive. They then landed in the middle of the basin, where the water was two meters deep. Then, over the years, with cyclones and floods, part of the rock broke off. This makes the divers fall where the water is not only deep but also muddy. Is it dangerous? “Li pa danzéré si ou konn landrwa-la bien.

Back in the past. Formerly, Rochester Falls was a place that was teeming with life, where the people of the South met. Even on weekdays. Marcel still remembers picnics on the edge of the waterfall. This is how he learned to swim and “fair bann koustik“.

A brutal return to the present. “Bann zenn zordi-la pann aprann, zot nek zété, zot krwar fasil. Bizin koné ki pé fer,” says the fifties. Swimmers also need to know where they set their foot. “Ena plass fonder sanz brit, pass dé enn met à dé met enn sel kout. Lontan, kaskad la oussi ti pli for. Mé li ti pé tom kot delo pas fon.

He has so much advice to give to those who have the idea of defying the torrent. It has been several years already that Marcel does not make the leap of the angel.

However, he does not come there as often as he would like since he moved to Riambel. Even the way to get to the waterfall has changed. Instead of the potato fields, there were endless forests. «Kapav akoz inn tir pyé oussi ki népli éna délo koumma avan…»

Nand agrees. For over 20 years, he has been selling his pineapples and coconuts to those who visit this place, which he describes as his “déziem lakaz“. And for him, the waterfall is not dangerous. Just do not “al kot delo-la nwar“. And to conclude: “Every time there is a drama, people hesitate to come. But then they always come back…”