DUMB LUCK

Albany Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - John Dob­son and Talitha Wolfe

Why sit on the edge when there is a $6 mil­lion view­ing plat­form sus­pended over the cliff?

When there have been re­peated warn­ings from res­cue groups?

When there have been peo­ple killed?

Even in mild con­di­tions, the south coast can bare its teeth at any mo­ment.

Rel­a­tively calm con­di­tions across the WA Day long week­end still pro­duced this mas­sive wave at The Gap which al­most swept this per­son into the ocean, and to a prob­a­ble death.

Too of­ten, vis­i­tors to The Gap and other spots on the south coast take un­nec­es­sary risks by clam­ber­ing on the cliff edges for a selfie or a bet­ter view, leav­ing on­look­ers and res­cue groups ner­vous.

The lat­est photo shows just how dan­ger­ous the coast can be, with “king waves”, pow­er­ful enough to knock some­one off their feet, com­mon­place.

This photo is the lat­est in a string of sim­i­lar in­ci­dents, in which peo­ple have risked their lives.

Trag­i­cally, in May, 31-year-old Jack Bray drowned af­ter div­ing into the ocean near Boat Har­bour, west of Den­mark, to save his friend Erica, who had been swept into the ocean while re­port­edly tak­ing a photo.

In March, footage emerged of a brain­less snap­per al­most slip­ping off a 20m cliff at the Nat­u­ral Bridge af­ter los­ing his foot­ing on the slip­pery rock less than a me­tre from the precipice, as on­look­ers feared for his life.

At the time, Al­bany Sea Res­cue boat cap­tain Chris Johns said he was as­tounded that peo­ple still risked their lives de­spite warn­ings, par­tic­u­larly when The Gap has a new mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar view­ing plat­form.

“You’ve got a mag­nif­i­cent struc­ture out there, it’s amaz­ing that peo­ple seem to want to take risks,” he said.

“It’s won­der­ful that peo­ple come here and en­joy our south coast but why you would want to put your­self and oth­ers at risk is be­yond us.

“They seem to think risk is ev­ery­body else’s prob­lem or they are shrouded in some sort of suit of ar­mour that seems to pro­tect them. “I just don’t get it.” The Gap and the Nat­u­ral Bridge have recorded six deaths and five se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents there since 1973.

A risk-taker is nearly swept into the ocean at The Gap at the week­end.

April 19, 2016

March 7, 2017

Oc­to­ber 6, 2016

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