Malaita Wall accident (10/7/2022)

Sharing details when things go wrong to make canyoning safer.
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Perry
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Malaita Wall accident (10/7/2022)

Post by Perry » 08 Oct 2022, 09:48

"A man in his 20s fell to his death while abseiling at a popular location in the Blue Mountains on Friday morning and emergency services are now working to retrieve his body from the Katoomba Cliffs. Emergency services were called to the abseiling spot at Malaita Wall about 8am after the man fell while abseiling with a group of people. Witnesses provided medical assistance before paramedics arrived but he died at the scene." - https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/man ... 5bnyh.html

Not sure if anyone has any additional details? the 1st abseil is described as having a sharpish edge

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T2
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Re: Malaita Wall accident (10/7/2022)

Post by T2 » 08 Oct 2022, 14:38

Sounds like the deceased man was training to be an outdoor guide and the trip was part of his TAFE training/assessment. The safety standards/practices of the TAFE outdoor adventure training are usually extremely high. It will be interesting to eventually here what actually happened. I haven't seen anything that indicates whether it was gear failure or personal error. My understanding is that TAFE guides usually have people abseil on one line and belay with a second, which should make a fatal fall almost impossible.

https://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au ... a/?cs=1432

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Perry
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City: sydney
State: New South Wales

Re: Malaita Wall accident (10/7/2022)

Post by Perry » 16 Oct 2022, 14:17

Thanks T2!

Never tried to request details of an accident (maybe some have some experience?), which in this case could be immediately useful to improve safety for some of us, we were indeed planning to take less experienced people thru that route, but sounds like the best way currently would be to either

a) Just go down yourself to inspect while expecting everything to be hostile
b) knowing someone who knows a mate who's into the current process
c) cancel the trip

In terms of public resources, seems like there are only not-so-easy paid-for options, would love to hear otherwise:

1) FOI request via Safe Work in a few weeks? initial request free but $15/hour to get data, https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/ac ... nformation
2) Coroners report in maybe 1 year? $98 for a transcript, https://www.coroners.nsw.gov.au/coroner ... -fees.html

Cheers

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T2
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Re: Malaita Wall accident (10/7/2022)

Post by T2 » 16 Oct 2022, 16:43

I don't think there's any issue with the route. If there was, a popular / easily accessible spot like this would have been closed by NPWS (like they did with Wollangambe 1).

Almost all abseil accidents come down to human error. I can only think of one anchor failure in recent years, and that was still human error (someone had used a sewn sling girth hitched around a tree, and someone else blindly clipped into it).

I don't think there is anything that would make this abseil trip any more dangerous than any other multipitch abseil.

As for your question, it's not easy getting that info. FOI is a slow, painful process. Coroner's reports can be better, but that won't be any time soon.

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