A group has been criticised over an “ignorant” act while visiting a walking track on a scenic headland at Byron Bay.
A picture posted to a local community Facebook group shows one person standing on a cliff over the water after jumping guard rails at Cape Byron Lighthouse, while another two further away appear to be preparing to join them.
One observer described the act as “ignorant” while others claimed he was probably taking a selfie.
“Dangerous and stupid,” a person commented.
“Definitely stupid,” another said.
After the photo emerged Kim Goodrick revealed the harrowing story of her son’s near-death experience around the Byron Bay lighthouse just over a year ago.
“The cliffs of the Byron Bay lighthouse are incredibly dangerous. That’s why there are rails,” she said on the post.
She added her 15-year-old nearly died there last year when following a goat track from Cosy Corner, claiming there were no signs or barriers.
“Seeing your child in intensive care not knowing if they will live or die is something that no parent should ever have to go through,” she said.
The man who saved the boy’s life also shared his traumatic experience to reveal just how dangerous it is.
“It’s f***ing twisted having to pick [up] someone’s body who you think is pretty much dead. Head crushed, blood everywhere, then sit next to them for hours [until] rescue,” he said.
“If I wasn’t down there his mate would [have] watched him drown.”
NSW National Parks said about 12 months ago warning signs were strategically installed at Cosy Corner with additional signage placed at Tallow Beach warning swimmers of local risks.
‘It’s not worth the risk’
Ms Goodrick told Yahoo News Australia the people in the photo had to think about the consequences of their actions.
“It puts the lives of other people at risk, the rescuers, and then also obviously the family,” she said.
She also claimed her son’s accident was an accident waiting to happen and people should not ignore barriers in place in other areas.
“The geology of the rocks up top where those people have climbed over are really unstable,” she said.
With warning signs along parts of the coastal track, Ms Goodrick said it was also up to people to behave responsibly.
“It makes me really upset people ignore it. It’s not only putting themselves at risk and the lives of rescuers – you can’t imagine the trauma, it will go on the rest of our lives and for the fishermen who saved him,” she said of her son’s accident.
Ms Goodrick’s son smashed his skull to “smithereens” and now half of it is made of plastic.
“A minute jumping over there to get a picture is just not worth everybody’s lives, I feel so sorry for their family if they have to go through what we’ve been through,” she said.
Ms Goodrick did not know what the group was doing jumping over the fence, but said nothing was worth the risk.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services told Yahoo News Australia it had done a lot of work along the Cape Byron walking track to make it clear that visitors should stick to the path.
It has put up a safety barrier fence and warning signs along the popular walking track.
“Unfortunately there is a small minority of people who are choosing to disobey the warning signs,” a spokesperson said.
“We’re calling on people to take responsibility for themselves, to think through the impact an accident would have on themselves, their family and friends, and the emergency services people who put their lives at risk to undertake dangerous cliff rescues and retrievals.”
The maximum fine for jumping a fence is $300.
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