An abseiling instructor is believed to have died in front of a group of school students during a trip to caves near the Margaret River to have slipped and fallen in a tragic accident.
Marcelo Silvera was facilitating an abseiling trip with a group of Grade 11 Newman College students when he fell about 40 meters from the top of Puppet Cave in Puranup on Thursday.
Police were called to the abseiling scene around 3.20pm to support St John WA and SES volunteers in the medical evacuation of the 53-year-old, but he could not be rescued.
Mr. Silvera has been described as a loving father to his young family, who were left “devastated” by the accident.
Officer Margaret River in charge, Sergeant Simon Taplin, said his death was an “unfortunate accident”.
“This man is a well-known and respected member of the Caving community as well as the Margaret River community,” she said.
“I know there are a lot of people who are traumatized by this incident and don’t want to relive the facts in the public eye.”
The 15-year Newman College students who were attending abseiling and hiking camp with two of their instructors had already been lowered into Puppet Cave when the man “unfortunately” fell, Sergeant Taplin said.
Adam Marr, CEO of Outdoors WA Group, said the instructor was a “highly respected” and “highly experienced professional.”
He said, “Our sincere condolences to the coach’s family and friends, all those present when this incident occurred, and the local community.”
“The impact of these deaths is being felt across the outdoors sector here in Western Australia.
“We will wait for and support the authorities to complete their investigations before we can comment further.”
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