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Twenty-year-old man dies at Coogee following cliff fall

Dunningham Reserve in Coogee, where emergency services were called to Saturday afternoon. Photo: TripAdvisor.


A 20-year-old man has died at Coogee on Saturday afternoon after falling 30 metres from a cliff between Coogee Beach and Gordons Bay, with NSW Ambulance inspector Lucky Phrachanh describing the tragedy as a “horrible accident”.

The man was walking with his girlfriend along the cliff following an afternoon at the beach when he lost his balance and fell.

“The patient has sustained fairly significant head injuries, was in cardiac arrest,” NSW Ambulance inspector David Stride told Nine News. “With the water washing up on the rocks, it was very difficult.”

Emergency services were called to Dunningham Reserve at about 3:00 pm, whereby officers attached to the Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command located the man, who had sustained critical head and chest injuries.

A critical care team were unable to save the man after CPR was attempted. Police at the top of the cliff were tasked with keeping the public away from the scene, while further rescue workers prepared an urgent descent to the bottom of the cliff.

In Shock

The man’s girlfriend was distraught, finding some solace through the support of witnesses at the reserve.

“The whole thing was a shock to her, it happened so quickly,” Mr Stride said, adding that she was being treated by ambulance officers for shock, and would be transported to hospital.

Authorities think that the man may have climbed the fence on the cliff face to take a photograph, before losing his balance. Witnesses told Nine News that a surprise 21st birthday party had been planned for the man next week.

“Our thoughts go out to the friends and family after this horrible accident,” Ms Phrachanh said in a statement. “Please avoid high cliff top areas – tragedies can occur in a split second.

“A massive thanks to the bystanders, NSW Police and the Surf Life Saving team for your assistance at this complex scene.”

Dunningham Reserve is described by Randwick City Council as a “popular location for photographers and filmmakers” due to its “spectacular ocean and coastline views”. It is located on the northern headland of Coogee Beach, with the Eastern Beaches Coastal Walk pathway running along the coastal boundary of the reserve, making it a well-used spot for walkers and joggers.

A report would be prepared for the coroner, NSW Police said.

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