Gap, bridge selfies spark rescue anger

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
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Photos capturing people nearing the edge of The Gap and Natural Bridge are haunting emergency service responders.

Albany Sea Rescue Squad’s Chris Johns has lost count of the bodies he has pulled from the water.

When shown these photos, Mr Johns said people needed to realise should something go wrong, many others were put at risk in the aftermath.

“If he fell off the Natural Bridge, that would be SES most likely to respond, and can you imagine just how dangerous it would be for responders to retrieve his body if he fell down the Gap?” he said of a photo posted on social media.

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“My first thought is ‘God, how would we get him out of there with swells coming in?’.

“He has no idea who he is placing in peril.

“I have some crew that are very raw after the last two deaths.”

Mr Johns and his crew retrieved resident Samuel Roth and a 20-year-old Indian student, known as Ankit, from the water in two separate coastline fatalities this year.

Mr Roth had been rock fishing at Lowlands, while Ankit was taking a photo while running and jumping on the rocks near the Gap edge when he fell to his death.

Mr Johns said he was frustrated and sick of people thinking they were bulletproof.

“I am the one who deploys our boats, often driving them, and involves our crews,” he said.

“There is a lot of gravity around that.

“But if I say that he is a tool, how does that make me look?

“But I do think that he is a tool because he is putting my crews at risk and affecting their lives too.”

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