Tragedy as Matthew Dwyer’s body found on Bluff Knoll

Staff reportersAlbany Advertiser
Professional photographer Mathew Dwyer on top of Bluff Knoll when it snowed.
Camera IconProfessional photographer Mathew Dwyer on top of Bluff Knoll when it snowed. Credit: Facebook

A search on Bluff Knoll has ended tragically with SES crews finding a body believed to be that of missing man and father of three, Matthew Dwyer.

The body was located by search teams just before midday at the base of the main bluff, in the vicinity of where he was last seen.

Acting Superintendent Alex Ryan said that the family had been advised of his death.

“Clearly they would be devastated at this stage,” he said.

“Obviously it’s not the outcome we were hoping for but nonetheless it’s still an outcome that brings closure to the family.”

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and the WA Police Force advise that the Bluff Knoll Road, Carpark and walk trail remain closed to the public due to this police operation, until further notice.

His body will taken to Albany to be formally identified and the death will be subject of a coronial inquiry.

About 7.30am yesterday, police were told that that the Fremantle-based photographer’s backpack and car keys had been found on the mountain by other hikers.

His white Nissan Campervan was found in the Bluff Knoll carpark.

Overnight, the AMSA Challenger Search and Rescue Jet conducted a search of the area and today a Police Air Wing was deployed to assist with the search.

Resources from Department of Fire and Emergency Services (SES volunteers) and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (Parks and Wildlife Service Rangers) were part of the search operation.

Mr Dwyer has climbed Bluff Knoll several times in the past. He was a seasoned wildlife photographer with 30 years experience who took a prized picture of a quokka in the snow at Bluff Knoll last year.

The hike which netted him the photo of a quokka in the snow was his first wildlife photography expedition after major back surgery.

This is the third emergency in the Stirling Range National Park this week after two other hikers had to be winched from the area on Sunday and Monday.

The latest tragedy is the second death at Bluff Knoll this year after 39-year-old Mandurah mother Lorjie Bautista died there in May.

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