Hanging Gap stupidity angers rescue authority
Albany Sea Rescue has called for criminal charges to be considered for thrill seekers who ignore safety warnings at popular but dangerous tourist spots on the south coast.
The call comes after the rescue squad were alerted to a video which seems to show a man hanging from a cliff face at The Gap on Easter Sunday.
The footage, posted to Instagram as a temporary “story”, shows a man hanging from the edge by one hand with no safety equipment in sight.
Rescue authorities have repeatedly condemned the risk taking behaviour of locals and visitors in recent years who posted ‘selfies’ and took photos at locations such as The Gap and Natural Bridge in the Torndirrup National Park.
Albany’s premier tourist destination underwent a $6.1 million redevelopment in 2015 with increased accessibility through a series of pathways and walkways and new lookout over the cliff face.
While the upgrades have brought more visitors, countless safety warnings have fallen on deaf ears.
Albany Sea Rescue operations co-ordinator Chris Johns said people continued to place their lives and those of their rescuers in danger.
Mr Johns said it was unfortunate no penalties by the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions and police could be enforced on people who ignore safety signage and place themselves at unnecessary risk.
“If it turns bad and becomes an incident it places a lot of people in grave danger because they have not taken safety gear and will rely on emergency services of they get in trouble,” he said.
“Where is the line between adventure and pure folly?”
Mr Johns said the danger was people could also ‘copycat’ the stunt in the future.
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