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Woman, 39, falls to her death from cliff after attempting to get selfie whilst on holiday

Woman, 39, falls to her death from cliff after attempting to get selfie whilst on holiday

Russian beautician Inessa Polenko plummeted 170ft

A woman has tragically died in hospital this weekend after plummeting off the edge of a 170ft cliff while trying to secure a selfie.

Russia-born Inessa Polenko was standing on a crag at the famous Gagry viewpoint in the picturesque state of Abkhazia - a breakaway region of Georgia - while admiring the crystal blue depths of the Black Sea.

Being an avid social media user with an impressive following of 9,000 - regularly sharing snaps from her travels across the likes of Dubai and Egypt - she hoped to bag the perfect snap of the once-in-a-lifetime view.

Inessa fell 170ft onto the beach below.
East2West/Social Media

It was then that she made the fatal decision to step over a marked barrier - warning visitors of the dangers of the cliff - and attempted to get into position to take the perfect selfie.

According to onlookers who witnessed the gruesome incident, 39-year-old Inessa had accidentally stumbled near the cliff, lost her footing and toppled off the edge, falling onto the beach below.

Paramedics were immediately alerted and attended the scene within a matter of minutes, quickly rushing the much-loved beautician to hospital.

Sadly, however, there was nothing that medics could do to save Inessa's life, and she succumbed to her injuries.

The woman was attempting to take a selfie in front of the Black Sea.
East2West/Social Media

News of Inessa's heartbreaking passing also comes as public health officials fight for taking selfies to be considered a serious risk to health.

According to a group of academics working in Australia who have been analysing media reports on injuries/deaths caused by people attempting to take photos of themselves since 2008, a staggering 400 have been reported.

They added that the most likely victims of these tragedies are female holiday-makers in their early 20s, and noted that death by falling and death by drowning are among the most common incidents recorded.

According to the team of researchers, the public need to be made aware of the risks posed by prioritising secure a selfie over general safety, and some of even calling for social media apps to instal warnings over the dangers.

"The selfie-related incident phenomenon should be viewed as a public health problem that requires a public health response," Dr Samuel Cornell, a risk expert at the University of New South Wales, Australia, told press.

Inessa died at the hospital.
East2West/Social Media

"To date, little attention has been paid to averting selfie-related incidents through behaviour change methodologies or direct messaging to users through apps.

"Although previous research has recommended 'no selfie zones', barriers and signage as ways to prevent selfie incidents, our results suggest this may not be enough."

Dr Samuel went on: "It may be prudent to also engage in direct safety messaging to social media users."

Researchers said the public must be made aware of the risks posed by selfies - with an estimated 92 million snapped globally every day - and urged social media apps to install software to warn people of the dangers as they go to take a selfie.

As her funeral takes place in Sochi today - a Russian city on the Black Sea - the investigation into the circumstances of her death continue.

Featured Image Credit: East2West

Topics: World News, News, Crime