City of Melville has no plans to change access to Blackwall Reach, despite death


A sign discouraging diving at Blackwall Reach.

Bicton’s Blackwall Reach.
A sign discouraging diving at Blackwall Reach. Bicton’s Blackwall Reach.

THE death of an 18-year-old will not prompt any changes at Blackwall Reach, the City of Melville says.

Luseni Traore got into difficulties after leaping 10m into the Swan River from the popular Bicton spot just after 5pm on November 10.

It was the second death at the site this year, with a tourist from Taiwan dying in January.

But acting Melville chief executive Steve Cope said there would be no change.

“The reserve will continue to be managed as a high priority bushland reserve and public access to this area will continue to be discouraged,” Mr Cope said.

While diving is not illegal, the City uses fencing, warning signs and soft barriers including plants to discourage it.

Two men enjoying the site on Wednesday said they were unaware what had transpired just a few days earlier.

One said it was a relaxing spot to look over the river while another suggested the City could possibly make it safer by establishing a proper platform for people to jump from.

The second man added he had seen empty alcohol bottles left there.

“I wouldn’t be mixing alcohol with the jump,” he said.

Royal Life Saving WA (RLSWA) spokeswoman Lauren Nimmo said Blackwall Reach was a “notorious black spot location for drowning and aquatic injury” in WA.

“The combination of a high-risk activity, jumping from a height into deep water, and often a lack of swimming ability makes this location particularly dangerous,” she said.

“Many of the incidents at this location are as a result of the person either hitting rocks on the way down or jumping in an uncontrolled manner causing injury when they hit the water and making it difficult to get to safety.

“People may have jumped from the cliffs before and been okay, but it only takes one bad jump for tragedy to occur that will have long lasting effects on their friends, family and communities.”

She said while RLSWA could not stop people jumping from the cliff, those who did must assume a level of personal responsibility for the safety of themselves and their friends.

“If you are not a strong swimmer you need to think very carefully about whether it is worth taking the risk at all,” she said.

Mr Cope passed on the City’s best wishes to Mr Traore’s family.

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