BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Monday, 11 December, 2000, 10:04 GMT
Inquiry into cliff plunge Briton

An investigation is continuing into the death of a British backpacker who plunged 230ft down a waterfall near Sydney, Australia.

Paul Marshall, 27, from Leicester, was paddling in a rock pool in the Blue Mountains with his three flatmates when he slipped and fell, police said.

A post-mortem examination on the body of Mr Marshall is due to be carried out on Monday.

But police said they believed that the fall was most likely to be a "death by misadventure".

Mr Marshall's family have been informed and have asked a family friend in Australia to arrange for the body to be flown home.

Officers said his friends watched in horror as Mr Marshall scrabbled desperately for a handhold before plummeting down Wentworth Falls, 40 miles west of Sydney.

Emergency crews said Mr Marshall's body was found on a narrow ledge near the main falls.

It would appear that he slipped scrabbling desperately to find a handhold for the first 10m

Paul Johnston
Katoomba Police
They said it was likely that he died instantly.

Senior constable Paul Johnston, of Katoomba Police, said the area had been cordoned off from the public as unsafe.

He said Mr Marshall and his three flatmates had been bushwalking along a long track called the National Pass.

"They decided to cool off because it was a hot day. They were bathing in a rock pool in a dangerous area, close to the edge of the waterfall," he said.

"There is a handrail separating the path from the waterfall, maybe 20m (65ft) from the edge, and they were inside that area.

"Mr Marshall went close to the edge to have a look at the view and the drop, according to his friends, when he fell approximately 70m.

'Extremely distressed'

"It would appear that he slipped scrabbling desperately to find a handhold for the first 10m," Mr Johnston said.

"His friends witnessed it all and are extremely distressed."

Mr Marshall had been travelling and working on a temporary visa while living in Manly, near Sydney.

His body was recovered by a doctor and a paramedic winched down from a rescue helicopter.

The operation was hampered by steep rocks and overhanging trees.

The area is one of the most popular destinations for weekend walkers.

Wentworth Falls is famous for its spectacular scenery and steep sandstone rock faces.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories