Gorge warning after man’s drowning
AUTHORITIES are urging locals and tourists to be careful at freshwater swimming holes following the death of a Taiwanese tourist, who drowned in the Mossman Gorge on Saturday.
The 28-year-old man was swimming with his girlfriend and three friends around 3pm that day when he became wedged between rocks and was unable to be reached by other swimmers.
Queensland fire and rescue swift water crew were called to the scene, along with other emergency services, and retrieved the man’s body around 6.30pm .
Mossman Police Officer-in-Charge sergeant Matthew Smith said there will be no investigation as it had been ruled a drowning and was a ‘‘bad accident’’.
‘‘All residents of the Mossman Port Douglas area need to exercise caution when attending local swimming holes during the wet season. It doesn’t necessarily have to be raining in the area for the local waterways to be affected,’’ he said.
‘‘ There’s a 50,000 square km catchment on top of the gorge that feeds our water system. If it’s raining up in the hills the water levels can rise quickly and dangerously in mat- ters of second – people need to be aware of that.
‘‘ Use caution. There has been fatalities in the past with a lot of people swimming up in the Gorge.’’
The drowning is the sixth one in a string of deaths at freshwater swimming sports in less than six months, resulting in some people calling for a closure to popular spots during the wet season.
A spokesman for the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing (NPRSR)) said closing the parks over the whole wet season is not considered necessary and ‘‘would have a major and detrimental impact on tourism and public enjoyment of these special places’’.
‘‘At Mossman Gorge signage is located at the car park, main swimming beach and the lower track warning visitors of potential dangers and risks, and this signage is adequate.’’