• Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

Man dies at popular tourist hotspot Gibraltar Falls in ACT


A man has fallen to his death off a cliff at a popular waterfall in the ACT – the second death at the hotspot in just one week.

The 22-year-old slipped on rocks at Gibraltar Falls, 46km southwest of Canberra, at about 5.25pm on Saturday.

Emergency workers were called to the scene following reports a man had fallen and could not be located.

He was found unconscious in the water at about 6pm but could not be revived. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are now preparing a report for the coroner.

The young man’s death comes as another person died at the same location after losing his footing.

Thomas Livingston, 19, fell from the cliff at 11.15am last Sunday.

ACT Policing and emergency services received reports around 11.15am on February 19 that a man had fallen off the cliff which is a 50 metre cascade waterfall.

Passers-by and ACT Parks and Conservation rangers provided first aid to the young boy until emergency services arrived, but “despite the best efforts of all involved”, the teen died at the scene.

Mr Livingston was a member of the Sydney Rowing Club and had moved to Canberra from NSW to attend the Australian National University.

Rowing NSW paid tribute to the young man in a statement, remembering him as a “hardworking oarsman” and praising his many achievements.

“Tom was a down-to-earth, hardworking oarsman, having rowed and been Captain of Boats (2020-21) and a senior prefect at his school Shore,” the club wrote.

“Tom was the winner of the Garry Uebergang Cup for the champion sculler at Shore in 2021. “Also in 2021, Tom was selected in the Australian Under 19 Men’s Eight in the team that could not tour due to Covid-19, but instead competed in Adelaide at the World Rowing Cup 3 Simulation Regatta.”

Despite signage at the location warning visitors off a “dangerous cliff edge”, the rock pools at the top of the waterfall remain a popular swimming hole.

It is believed the teen was swimming at the top of the waterfall prior to the incident, although the height from which he fell is unconfirmed.

Geoffrey Rutledge, who is the deputy director general of the Environment, Water and Emissions Reduction department of the ACT Government, said tourists were meant to enjoy the site’s walking trail and viewing platform but not swim there.

“The signage does show that we don’t want people near the edges and we don’t see it as a swimming hole,” he said.

“We have many swimming holes within our parks. We don’t consider Gibraltar Falls a swimming hole.”

The same warning goes to Babinda Boulders in far north Queensland. The stunning site adjacent to the Wooroonooran National Park has claimed the lives of 21 people, including three since 2020 alone.

Victims have mostly lost their lives when pulled into quick rapids and sucked underneath the water.

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