Mum's 'awful' discovery after iPhone app leads her to missing son

·News Editor


A heartbroken mother has told of the devastating moment she found out her son had fallen off a cliff in Byron Bay, leading to what she describes as “the worst week of her life”.

Kim Goodrick, from Eureka in NSW, had allowed her 15-year-old son to catch a bus to Byron Bay – about half an hour away – to meet up with a school friend.

She planned to meet him at 3pm to take him to a friend’s birthday party, but when he did not respond to her messages or calls, she started to get worried.

“I had contacted my husband because he wasn’t responding to me and it was about 4pm, and he had to be at the party at 3pm,” Mrs Goodrick told Yahoo News Australia.

The NSW mum arrived at Cape Byron to find a ‘wall of emergency personnel’ as she searched for her son. Pictured is the Cape Byron lighthouse with Tallow Beach in the background. Source: Getty, file
The NSW mum arrived at Cape Byron to find a ‘wall of emergency personnel’ as she searched for her son. Pictured is the Cape Byron lighthouse with Tallow Beach in the background. Source: Getty, file

“I was getting very worried, I asked my husband to [use the] ‘Find my iPhone’ [app] and it was at Cape Byron.

“We drove up to the lighthouse and there was a wall of emergency personnel and I just knew.”

Mrs Goodrick spoke to several people at the scene, desperately trying to confirm if her son was involved in an accident.

“As I was standing there someone ran up and said my son’s name and it confirmed my worst fears,” she said.

Mrs Goodrick’s son had fallen from a cliff above Tallow Beach and was critically injured on the rocks below.

The friend that he was with spent three hours stuck on a ledge that was crumbling away, but managed to contact emergency services.

Mrs Goodrick’s son had fallen from a cliff above Tallow Beach and was critically injured on the rocks below. Source: Supplied/Kim Goodrick
Mrs Goodrick’s son had fallen from a cliff above Tallow Beach and was critically injured on the rocks below. Source: Supplied/Kim Goodrick

“He was an absolute hero,” Mrs Goodrick said.

“As were two fishermen who were caring for my son below, they are my heroes.

“[My son] was incubated and sedated at the scene and he was airlifted to hospital. I saw the helicopter go and just collapsed at the scene.”

‘My husband was convinced my son was dead’

As their son was being transferred to hospital on the Gold Coast, Mr and Mrs Goodrick made the one-and-a-half-hour drive to be by his side.

“At this point we didn’t know how bad his injuries were, there was no info coming through. It was awful,” Mrs Goodrick said.

Her husband, who had a medical background, feared the worst.

“My husband was convinced my son was dead,” the mother said.

At the hospital, they were relieved to find out their son was alive but had suffered horrific injuries in the fall.

He had multiple fractures in his skull leading to serious brain damage on his left side.

Kim Goodrick provided an update on her son on Facebook. Source: Facebook
Kim Goodrick provided an update on her son on Facebook. Source: Facebook

“There was a time where we thought we lost him but he is still with us,” Mrs Goodrick said.

Ten days on from the accident, he is slowly being weaned off sedation.

“He has started to open his eyes and he has made some movement which is encouraging,” Mrs Goodrick said.

“We are cautiously optimistic.”

More warning signs needed

Mrs Goodrick, who said her son was a responsible boy and not usually a risk-taker, is now petitioning for more signs and barriers to be installed around the cliff face.

She maintained there was no signage around the area where her son fell and believes if there were warnings, he would have never put himself in danger.

“I don’t want anyone else going through what we’ve been through,” Mrs Goodrick said.

“This could happen to someone else’s family tomorrow, this afternoon – we need to minimise the risk of that happening.

“There is a responsibility from national parks or council to provide us with those warnings.”

While Byron Shire Council would not comment on the safety measures at the cliffs, they did extend their sympathy to the Goodrick family.

“The thoughts of councillors and staff are with this young man and his family,” a spokesperson told Yahoo News.

A spokesperson for National Parks and Wildlife Services told Yahoo News a review would be conducted into current signage. Pictured above is Tallows Beach. Source: Getty, file
A spokesperson for National Parks and Wildlife Services told Yahoo News a review would be conducted into current signage. Pictured above is Tallows Beach. Source: Getty, file

A spokesperson for National Parks and Wildlife Services told Yahoo News a review would be conducted into current signage.

“This is a terrible incident and our heart goes out to the Goodrick family during this time.

“NPWS has beach access signs at all national park entrances which advise people of the hazards associated with beach usage.

“In light of the recent incident, NPWS is reviewing all existing hazard and safety signage.”

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