Investigation to probe tourist’s tragic death plunge

 

A MAN is dead and a woman has possible spinal injuries after plunging about 15m to the ground at Cape Tribulation's Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours.

The man, believed to be in his 60s, was declared dead at the scene yesterday afternoon.

Emergency services raced to Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours at 2pm yesterday after it was believed a couple had fallen 15m to the ground.

The woman in her 40s was flown by Rescue 510 helicopter with suspected spinal and shoulder injuries in a serious but stable condition, while the man, believed to be in his 60s, was pronounced dead at the scene. The couple are from interstate.

A woman arrives at Cairns Hospital by helicopter after she was injured in an accident on the Jungle Surfing Canopy Tour in Cape Tribulation. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
A woman arrives at Cairns Hospital by helicopter after she was injured in an accident on the Jungle Surfing Canopy Tour in Cape Tribulation. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

Police were last night guarding the scene with Workplace Health and Safety investigators due to arrive today.

Far North police Insp Rhys Newton described it as "a tragedy" and said officers would work with WHS and the Coroner to help determine a cause.

He could not confirm whether the fall took place while the couple were on a zip line or stationary.

A major incident previously occurred at Jungle Surfing in 2004, where a woman fell 30 metres due to an insecure harness.
A major incident previously occurred at Jungle Surfing in 2004, where a woman fell 30 metres due to an insecure harness.

"This is a tragic incident and one that, once we know the full circumstances, we hope we can help to ensure never happens again," he said.

"We are providing support to the family and other witnesses involved."

It is understood there were witnesses to the fall and several provided first aid until emergency services arrived.

Phoebe Kitto, a director of Jungle Surfing, offered her deepest sympathy to families and friends of those affected.

"It will be thoroughly investigated by Workplace Health and Safety, which will receive our full co-operation," she said.

This is not the first time a serious incident has occurred at the attraction.

In 2004, an English tourist suffered severe head injuries after plunging 30m at the attraction and tour guide Steve Jay Clark was later jailed for two years and eight months.

Jungle Adventures was founded in 1995 by Stephen Walsh, who died in a car crash in May 2010.