Two British Columbia residents are recovering after separate falls from cliffs on the south coast.

A Nanaimo man tumbled nearly 20 metres late Wednesday afternoon when he lost his footing while working on a 60-metre-long staircase in the backyard of a home in the Vancouver Island city.

Fire officials say the man broke his leg when he crashed onto a barely metre-wide landing, otherwise he would have plunged another 40 metres to the beach below.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue deputy chief Martin Drakely says he “can't explain” the man's luck.

In North Vancouver, a young woman suffered injuries to her back after slipping from rocks and falling awkwardly into the water while cliff jumping in Lynn Canyon Park.

A park ranger saw the accident and called for help, while another cliff jumper pulled the injured woman to shore, and firefighters used ropes to lift her up to a waiting ambulance.