Friends capture last moments on camera

Jessica Cuthbert and Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
This photo was taken moments before Ankit fell to his death at The Gap.
Camera IconThis photo was taken moments before Ankit fell to his death at The Gap.

The tragic final moments of the 20-year-old man who fell to his death at the popular Albany tourist attraction The Gap on Thursday were caught on camera by his friends.

The 20-year-old Indian student, known as Ankit, was studying in Perth, and had been running and jumping on the rocks before he slipped and plunged more than 40m into the ocean while taking a photo with friends on Thursday about 3pm.

The man’s friends released the photos in the hope it would warn others of the deadly dangers at the coastal tourist hotspot.

“It was like his hobby to take pictures in each and every moment,” Ankit’s friend, Sahil, told Seven News.

“It’s like a warning for others.”

The horrific moment was witnessed by several others, including a mother and child on the platform.

Friends at the scene talk to police.
Camera IconFriends at the scene talk to police. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Albany police said the group of students were visiting from Perth on the day and were on the cliff opposite the designated viewing platform when the man fell to his death.

A witness said he hit several rocks before landing on a rock ledge at the base of the cliff.

He was then washed into the ocean by a wave.

The man’s body was recovered from the ocean about 4pm.

Albany Sea Rescue’s Chris Johns said he was shocked by comments on social media after the tragedy unfolded.

“Most people were making comment and hoping it wasn’t a local, but what bloody difference does it make? It is someone’s son,” he said.

“We pull a body on board and it’s just a well-groomed young man, I think crap, he’s younger than my son. Why do people take comfort in that he’s not a local? It’s no less tragic.”

Camera IconAnkit

Mr Johns said his crew had become veterans of this type of tragedy in the past few weeks.

“They were on the boat when we went down to get Sam Roth, that’s two significant operations they have had in their very short time involving recoveries of deceased young males,” he said.

“My concern is always for my crew, I’m protective of them and now we are seeing the same familiar thing, two young males and it’s a bit hard to transfer that.

“This is the 10th body we have recovered in nine years.”

The sea rescue group volunteers have now recovered two bodies in the past two months from the waters off Albany after the death of Samuel Roth in April.

Mr Roth was fishing at a remote location near Lowlands Beach, between Albany and Denmark, when he was swept into the ocean by a wave.

The group has been involved in the recovery of several bodies in recent years, including two from the notorious fishing spot Salmon Holes, about 2km from The Gap, in the past three years.

Great Southern police Superintendent Dom Wood said the friends of the man were left in a state of shock by the tragic events.

Supt Wood urged visitors to stay safe.

“We always tell people to take precautions when down in this area — it is a dangerous area, but if you take precautions and stay between the bounds, then these things won’t happen,” he said.

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