Aussie abseiling instructor falls to death in front of students

The instructor was conducting an excursion for school children as the tragedy unfolded.

An abseiling instructor has plummeted to his death while school students watched on in horror at a popular site in Western Australia.

The 53-year-old man was conducting an abseiling excursion on Thursday for a group at Brides Cave, near Margaret River, when the tragedy occurred.

Once a number of Year 11 students and teachers from Newman College had reached the bottom of the cliff face, the instructor started making his way down and fell.

A photo from Google Maps of Brides Cave near the Margaret River, WA.
A 53-year-old WA abseiling instructor has sadly fallen to his death near the Margaret River. Source: Google Maps

Police who were called to the scene along with other emergency services, are currently investigating the circumstances around the incident.

"Police were called to the popular abseiling site about 3.20pm to support St John WA and DFES State Emergency Service volunteers with the medical evacuation of a 53-year-old man who had fallen during an abseiling activity at the site," a WA Police spokesperson said in a statement.

"First aid was provided to the man until an RAC Rescue helicopter paramedic was lowered down into the cave and took over care of the patient.

"Tragically, the man became unresponsive and was unable to be revived. He died at the scene."

Colleagues of the instructor and volunteers from the DFES State Emergency Service were able to provide guidance in safely recovering the body of the man from the bottom of the cave, as well as the distressed students and teachers, who are believed to be uninjured.

WorkSafe are aware of the incident and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.

Newman College students to receive counselling

In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, the school confirmed the incident and passed on their "sympathies and condolences to (the man's) family and loved ones".

"It is with deep sadness that I write to confirm that Newman College Year 11 students and staff were involved in a tragic incident that occurred on the afternoon of Thursday March 16 during the Year 11 Outdoor Education ATAR Camp at Brides Cave, Boranup," Principal Lucie McCrory said.

"One of the external instructors who was participating in the camp, fell at the scene.

"Emergency services were immediately called, and our students were led by staff members to another location. Sadly, we were informed shortly thereafter that the external instructor had passed away."

The school will be using "all necessary resources to support the wellbeing and pastoral care of students and staff who have been impacted by this tragic incident".

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