Measures fail to stop deaths

Police Operations Centre Inspector Denise Farrell said the man died after he jumped from a rock ledge at the falls last Thursday.

Insp. Farrell said police heard about the incident, which is believed to be non-suspicious, about 8pm on Thursday when a number of witnesses reported seeing the man strike rocks before landing in deep water and failing to surface.

The dive squad recovered the body of the missing man on Friday morning.

Five people have now died from falling or jumping off the cliffs at Serpentine Falls since 2001.

Last February, a 19-year-old German tourist fell to his death when he slipped on wet rocks, while climbing towards a 12m ledge at the falls.

The Department of Parks Wildlife (DPaW) and its predecessors has managed Serpentine National Park since 1971.

A spokesman said it did not provide or encourage access to the falls area and safety measures were in place, including visitor risk management signage, stating do not jump or dive from the rocks.

‘The Serpentine Falls carpark is barricaded off on weekends, so visitors can only park in the picnic area, thereby limiting the number of people in the falls area, what items they can take into the area and time spent in the area,’ the spokesman said.

‘People can only stay for 30 minutes in the Serpentine Falls area during busy and peak periods.’

In 2010, security cameras were installed to discourage anti-social behaviour.

The Serpentine Falls entry gate is also closed when the park reaches capacity and DPaW staff are rostered on at weekend and peak periods.

DPaw does not intend to install a fence or barrier, as it would not completely prevent people from gaining access to the falls, because of the nature and topography of the Serpentine Falls site, the spokesman said.

A report will be prepared for the Coroner.