Friends see man fall to death

The West Australian - - NEWS - Shan­non Smith and Jes­sica Cuth­bert

A young man fell to his death yes­ter­day from a cliff at Al­bany’s pop­u­lar tourist at­trac­tion The Gap as his friends watched.

A wit­ness who called triple-0 just af­ter 2.30pm told The West Aus­tralian the man was “muck­ing around” with his friends off the des­ig­nated path when he fell over the edge.

The wit­ness, who did not want to be named, said the vic­tim hit sev­eral rocks as he fell about 40m down the cliff face, be­fore land­ing on a rock at the base of The Gap.

The man ap­peared to be un­con­scious when he was swept into the ocean by a wave mo­ments later.

“I was calling triple-0 and I had to stop his friends from jump­ing in af­ter him and go­ing over the edge,” the wit­ness said.

Res­cue crews arrived and searched for the man who was spot­ted float­ing in the wa­ter west of The Gap.

Al­bany Sea Res­cue vol­un­teers re­trieved the man’s body from the wa­ter just be­fore 4pm.

Great South­ern po­lice dis­trict Supt Dom Wood said it was a tragic event.

“A young male has gone into the wa­ter, and sadly lost their life. This is such a tragic event,” he said.

“It was a sur­prise to get a call such as this.”

Supt Wood said it was a hor­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion for fam­ily, those in­volved and first re­spon­ders.

He said the man was vis­it­ing The Gap with four friends who saw him fall in.

“We al­ways tell peo­ple to take pre­cau­tions when down in this area,” he said.

“It is a dan­ger­ous area but if you take pre­cau­tions and stay be­tween the bounds, then these things won’t hap­pen.”

The tourist hotspot re­opened in April 2016 af­ter a $6.1 mil­lion re­de­vel­op­ment.

The work has in­cluded path­ways and raised walk­ways, with the main at­trac­tion be­ing two can­tilevered look­outs that ex­tend 10m off the 40m cliff face.

The death is the sec­ond fa­tal­ity along the coast­line this year af­ter the death of Sa­muel Roth who was swept from the rocks while fish­ing at Low­lands, west of Al­bany.

It also comes af­ter the res­cue of two fish­er­men who were washed off rocks at the nearby fish­ing spot Salmon Holes last month.

Pictures: Lau­rie Ben­son

Emer­gency ser­vices at The Gap in Al­bany where a young man fell to his death from rocks yes­ter­day.

Picture: Len Hall

The sheer 40m drop at The Gap.

Friends of the man who died talk to po­lice.

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