An abseiling instructor has been identified after he fell to his death in a cave while leading a group of school students.
Marcelo Silveira, of Margaret River, was killed when he fell about 40m at Boranup, more than 250km south of Perth, on Thursday afternoon.
The 53-year-old had been leading a group of 15 Year 11 students and two teachers from Perth’s Newman College, who were already at the bottom of the cave when the man fell.
They performed CPR on the man until paramedics arrived, but Mr Silveira died from his injuries.
Emergency services arrived at the scene in Brides Cave at 3.20pm following reports of the fall.
“State Emergency Service volunteers and colleagues of the deceased man were able to provide guidance and instruction to safely recover the deceased, students, and teachers from the bottom of the cave,” WA Police said in a statement.
Margaret River sergeant Simone Taplin said Mr Silveira’s death was a tragic loss.
“This gentleman is a well-known and well-respected member of the caving society as well as the community of Margaret River,” she said.
“He’s got over 25 years of experience in this field and speaking to his colleagues, they all respect him, and he’s highly regarded.
“I know there’s a lot of people that are traumatised by this incident and don’t want to relive the facts in the public eye.”
Outdoors WA Inc., the peak body for the outdoor sector in Western Australia, also released a statement.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic death of an abseiling instructor in our Margaret River region,” said OWA CEO Adam Marr.
“Our sincere condolences go out to the instructor’s family, friends, everyone present when this accident happened, and the local community.
“He was a well-respected and highly experienced industry professional and our thoughts are with all those who knew and worked with him.”
Mr Marcelo was a freelance abseiling instructor, and normally worked as a ranger with WA’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Attractions (DBCA).
The department confirmed Mr Marcelo was not on duty at the time of his death.
A fundraising campaign has been launched to help support Mr Marcelo’s wife and two young sons.
“This GoFundMe page has been set-up so that friends and family of Katie and Marcello can offer their support to Katie and the boys through this very difficult time and ensure that they have the funds to cover all their costs,” said campaign organiser Juerlaine Prideaux.
At the time of writing, the fundraiser had reached $9578, just shy of its $10k goal.
WorkSafe has confirmed it will investigate the incident.