An abseiling instructor who plunged to his death in front of a group of school students during a trip to caves near Margaret River is believed to have slipped and fallen in a tragic accident.
Marcello Silveira was facilitating an abseiling excursion with a group of Newman College Year 11 students when he fell about 40 metres from the top of the Brides Cave in Boranup on Thursday.
Police were called to the popular abseiling spot about 3.20pm to support St John WA and SES volunteers in the medical evacuation of the 53-year-old but he could not be saved.
Mr Silveira was described as a loving father to his young family, who have been left “devastated” by the incident.
Margaret River Officer in Charge Sergeant Simone Taplin said his death was an “unfortunate accident”.
“This gentleman is a well-known and well-respected member of the caving society as well as the community of Margaret River,” she said.
“I know there’s a lot of people that are traumatised by this incident and don’t want to relive the facts in the public eye.”
Sgt Taplin said the 15 Year 11 students from Newman College that were attending the abseiling and hiking camp with two of their teachers had already been lowered into Brides Cave when the man “unfortunately” fell.
For more on this story visit The West Australian.
Adam Marr, chief executive for peak outdoor activities group Outdoors WA, said the instructor had been a “well-respected” and “highly-experienced industry professional”.
“Our sincere condolences go out to the instructor’s family, friends, everyone present when this accident happened, and the local community,” he said.
“The impact of this fatality is felt across the whole outdoors sector here in Western Australia.
“We will wait for and support the authorities to complete their investigations before we are in a position to comment further.”
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