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Instagram Effect: Selfies Leading To More Rescues In SoCal

EATON CANYON (CBSLA) — Everywhere you go nowadays you find people take selfies -- some even going to extremes for the perfect shot -- and that is keeping the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department extra busy.

Two men got seriously hurt at Hermit Falls as witnesses say the duo tried to get videos of themselves -- no doubt to post on social media.

Deputy Steve Doucette with L.A. County's Search and Rescue Team says the county is spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars per hour.

"Definitely minimum $10,000," said Doucette.

When selfies go bad, county teams made 681 missions in 2017 -- the most in five years. That's up nearly 40 percent since 2013, and Doucette largely blames social media.

A simple search for "Eaton Canyon" or "Malibu Rock Pool" and you'll see people pushing the limits, selfie-sticks in hand.

"They go on up there and they do it and they realize 'wow, that water wasn't quite as deep as I thought.' Typically we get the broken leg, broken back, broken head and then they're in a remote location," said Doucette.

Just yesterday Matt Gambino's girlfriend took an extreme shot -- hanging from a Santa Monica street light. He says she's a trained athlete, but he was thinking, as he took video from below "I hope she doesn't fall!"

Doucette wants you to do more than hope to stay safe -- so the best shot of your life isn't the last.

"For every rescue that you see that we do there are ones that we don't make," said Doucette.

Best advice -- be smart, be prepared and take lots of pictures safely.

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