Man Drowns After Jumping From Cliff Into St. Croix

TAYLORS FALLS, Minn. (WCCO) — A man is dead after jumping off a cliff into the St. Croix River and never resurfacing.

The Chisago County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 4 p.m. about a possible drowning near the Rock Island in Franconia Township, which is about 2 miles south of Taylors Falls.

The body of the man was located around 6:30 p.m. and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities identified the man as 26-year-old Nicholas Paul Johns. The medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death.

  • jack

    was just on that section of river this afternoon on a paddle wheel boat tour. observed several young men jumping off the cliffs as our boat passed by, I recall holding my breathe until they resurfaced. unfortunately, this young man didn’t. the thrill is not worth the risk. am sure his family is devastated.

  • hate the system

    Wow, like 5 articles on the front page right now where someone has drowned.. sad :( RIP to all

  • Jake

    I tried it many, many years ago, at an old mining pit down in NC. It was about a 60 ft. drop. On about the 3rd jump, I hit bad, thought my back was almost broken. At that height, you are hitting the water very hard. I am a very good swimmer and qualified lifeguard. Jumping off of high cliffs is a very risky thing. On a river, you don’t know if the water is 5 feet deep or 30. If you hit bottom, you could really hurt yourself.

  • Sarah

    So sad. I knew Nick and he was a great guy. Regardless of being illegal or not, cliff jumping is pretty popular in that area and it’s so sad that he had to die to remind everyone how dangerous it really is. RIP Nick. My heart goes out to his family, there are a lot of devastated people mourning his loss tonight.

  • jeff

    i guess to me jumping off a cliff into a body of water is something i would do to escape a bear or cougar…….kind of a last resort thing.

  • John


  • Melanie

    9 years ago nick ( the guy who died) was driving a snowmobile while drunk and ran over and killed a 2yr old boy which is who lynn is referring too.

    • close friend

      I would appreciate if u don’t go and say negative and false facts about nick, the events of that night I’m sure u don’t have any clue about!!!! As a close friend of mine I know the facts and he was not “drunk” so please don’t say negative things about this golden hearted person thank u

  • Susan

    It’s one thing when risk-taking behavior endangers you, it’s another thing when it endangers others. I think there’s too much permissiveness around drinking and recreational vehicles: boats, snowmobiles, atv’s, etc. I grew up in this area and drinking accompanied nearly any activity you can think of, without a second thought to the safety of others. I did these things myself. Somehow in people’s minds operating a boat when drunk is somehow different from a car…?

    • @susan

      And this relates to cliff-jumping how?

  • exjumper

    I was there when it happened. His landing was pretty awkward. Pretty sad stuff. I dove in after him but there was little anyone could do. Hard to judge how far the current takes you. I jumped last summer off the exact same tree on top of the cliffs Nick did and bruised my legs up pretty bad so just another reason to stay away from them.

  • nunya

    If you don’t have anything nice to say, then keep it to yourself. I’m never going to see my uncle again and most of you didn’t even know him so go channel your negative attitudes elsewhere.

    • From Taylors Falls

      Peace to Nick’s family. I am always so saddened to see the negative comments people post. It really shows us the negative world we live in. I hope one day our children can overcome this negative and learn to live with empathy and compassion. God’s blessings to you.

  • Shawn Ward

    You wouldnt say that if that was your cousin…. If it was your family member that died. would it still be Darwin at work.. or.. what about you????????

    • Mike Stamshede

      That was pretty rude! Have u considered the way his family feels right now- Have some compassion Jake!!!!!

    • wack

      Apparently you are the almighty himself….proclaiming what someone would or wouldnt say, and if Darwin is what you can associate with, then yes, it is Darwin at work – who is chosen it does not matter.

  • Anonymous

    I am so very sorry for the loss of Nick and to his family especially. There really is no need to make negative comments but to recognize that something sad has happened and to give condolences to the family and close friends. I lost my brother a little over two years ago and remember seeing one particular negative comment from someone that did not even know him….it definitely made me upset, hurt, angry, defensive…many different emotions to add to what I was already dealing with. I believe that no one in Nick’s family would appreciate the negative energy projected on here. Really put yourself in their shoes and try to imagine for a few seconds even… how they are feeling right now. And I am crying as I write this because I feel so so bad for his family. It’s hard to grasp & you are all in my thoughts and prayers…sending lots of positive energy your way to help you through this difficult time. I knew Nick mostly from High School and some years after as we were in the same class in H.S. He was a genuine and good person with a great smile that lit up the room…like my bro. I am sure Nick is watching over the entire family right now and those close friends. Bless you all! I send sincere and heartfelt condolences your way. ~HUGS

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