Hollywood Man Killed At Off-Limits Rindge Dam Swimming Hole

Written by on June 8, 2020

A 26-year-old man from Hollywood was killed Sunday, apparently swimming in an off-limits water hole in Malibu Canyon.

And thousands of people were stuck in a gargantuan traffic jam as a result of the tragedy.

Ruben Malgarejo was pronounced dead at the bottom of the canyon, near Rindge Dam, by paramedics at 2:17 p.m. Sunday, a spokeswoman the Los Angeles County coroner’s office told KBUU.

He fell or jumped into the creek, deep in Malibu Canyon about 4 miles north of Pacific Coast Highway. States parks officials have put this area off limits … due to the dangerous steep cliffs … and rocks hidden just under the water.

But the pond just downstream of the defunct Rindge Dam has been a fatal attraction for decades.

A person reportedly jumped off cliffs near the old 100-foot-high dam. … which has sat unused for 80 years.

The person never surfaced.

The Malibu Search and Rescue team was called in to search for the victim … as was the California State Parks dive team.

That meant rappelling down the cliff … and that meant LA County sheriffs deputies closed Malibu Canyon Road.

Beach traffic was already jammed.

The rescue slowly evolved into a search for a body … as the afternoon dragged on.

A helicopter was used to try to locate the person in a multi-agency search with the department’s lifeguards, the L.A. County Sheriff’s High-Risk Tactical/Rescue Teams and California State Park dive teams.

With Malibu Canyon Road closed … Beach traffic diverted over to Kanan-Dume Road.

Traffic was backed up 10 miles from the Agoura Hills traffic lights … almost all the way to Malibu. Agoura Hills officials have never found the inclination to adjust traffic signals for beach crowds or persons evacuating emergencies via Kanan-Dume Road, through the signals at Agoura Road or US 101.

One driver reported a 2-1/2 hour travel time over Kanan-Dume.

The body was recovered Sunday during a rescue mission after a swimmer jumped into a dam in Malibu Creek State Park, officials said.

The swimmer’s body was found and recovered at about 5 p-m Sunday.

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