The Westpac Rescue Helicopter recovers a body from the base of the cliff at the Cape Byron Lighthouse.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter recovers a body from the base of the cliff at the Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Tourists watch as body recovered

EMERGENCY crews were yesterday faced with the difficult task of retrieving a man's body from the bottom of a 100-metre cliff face on the Cape Byron lighthouse headland.

The operation took close to six hours from the time the body was first spotted and several emergency organisations became involved.

Surf lifesaving crews spotted the body early yesterday morning following reports of a missing man.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was called at 6.45am. However, the crew were unable to perform retrieval due to the difficult rocky area.

Ambulance officials on site said the safety of the helicopter crew was paramount, especially in light of the recent death of paramedic Michael Wilson on Christmas Eve at Kangaroo Valley.

A crime scene was established on the cliff top as police awaited the arrival of a ground-based NSW Police Rescue crew from Lismore.

On arrival, Police Rescue officers and a forensic officer used abseiling equipment to reach the bottom of the cliff, where they prepared the body for retrieval by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter

The Westpac Helicopter was back on the scene at about 1pm to retrieve the body and then to winch the three officers from the foot of the cliff.

The retrieval at the popular tourist destination was witnessed by scores of holidaymakers and locals.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.



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