Hanging Rock: Deaths but access stays

FATAL ATTRACTION: Police at Hanging Rock Falls where a man went missing after he reportedly made contact with the cliff face and vanished below the surface of the water.
FATAL ATTRACTION: Police at Hanging Rock Falls where a man went missing after he reportedly made contact with the cliff face and vanished below the surface of the water. Marc Stapelberg

DESPITE three deaths at the treacherous Hanging Rock Falls swimming hole in the past decade there are no plans to fence it off or deny public access.

Signs were erected three years ago warning against entering the water at the popular swimming hole, but that message wasn't heeded by teenagers on Tuesday with tragic consequences.

In addition to the death of the 19-year-old Illawarra man that day, at least two other people have lost their lives there since 2003.

A spokesman for NSW Crown Lands, which owns the site, said he was unaware of any state plans to erect fencing.

"Signs advising against swimming were erected there about three years ago following previous incidents," he said.

"We will be fully co-operating with any inquiries that result from the latest incident."

Members of the Wadeville Reserve Trust, which manages the land, said there had been no plans for fencing but declined to comment any further on the incident.

Although the land is not owned or managed by Kyogle Council, mayor Danielle Mulholland said council would look at ways to prevent future incidents when council resumes on Monday.

"It's extremely unfortunate and my sympathies go out to the family," she said.

Fencing has been erected around similar waterholes in Ballina and Byron after two tragic deaths early last year.

The death of a 30-year-old Queensland man at Dalwood Falls in January last year prompted the Ballina Shire Council to undertake work to improve signage, fencing and patrols at the site.

Construction of a fence around Byron Bay's Island Quarry was fast-tracked when a 20-year-old Victorian man died after jumping into the water off a ledge in February last year.


What do you think?

Should we lock up dangerous waterholes for the benefit of public safety or should swimmers simply take more care when entering the water?

SMS 0428 264 948, email, comment below or our Facebook page.

Should Hanging Rock Falls be fenced off or other changes be made to deny public access?

This poll ended on 09 January 2015.

Yes - 10%

No - 89%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  death editors picks fatality hanging rock falls safety

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