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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Man dives to death at Dalwood Falls

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Dalwood Falls. Photo courtesy Kirra Pendergast, Common Ground Australia
Dalwood Falls. Photo courtesy Kirra Pendergast, Common Ground Australia

The body of a 30-year-old Queensland man who dived into a waterhole at the base of Dalwood Falls yesterday afternoon was recovered by police divers just before midnight.

Police were alerted to the incident after a visitor to the falls, near Alstonville, videoed the man diving in off a tree but did not see him resurface.

It is the second time this month a diver has got into trouble at the falls. Previously a diver injured his back in a similar incident.

Police are warning that recent low rainfall means the waterhole at the bottom of the falls is shallower than normal, making the dive even more dangerous.

‘This is unfortunately the second incident in the past few weeks. It’s a fairly common spot, especially in holiday time,’ police inspector Mick Dempsey told ABC radio this morning.

‘There hasn’t been much rain in the area so the water level is obviously lower… and this may be leading to some of the injuries,’ he added.

Ballina Shire Council previously had signs warning of the dangers at the falls but vandals have removed them.

Ballina mayor David Wright said Council will have to think again about preventing people from jumping into the waterhole.

Local photographer Kirra Pendergast has created a photo-essay on Dalwood Falls for north-coast website Common Ground, that includes photographs of boys jumping off the 40-foot cliff above the waterhole.

‘I sat terrified behind the lens of my camera as I watched my friend and son jump,’ she wrote. ‘Did I do it? – no way.’

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  1. Very scary. I broke my back 2 weeks ago at Dalwood Falls. This story hits very close to home, could have easily been me. Definitely urge everyone to no longer jump here. All my thoughts and prayers with the mans family.

  2. the story isn’t quite correct! My brother and I along with SES pulled him out using our ROV at 9.20pm. Police divers were a day away in Sydney. He was a good friend and will be sadly missed.

  3. Don’t close off this spot for swimming/jumping/diving. Erect another sign instructing jumpers that water levels vary depending on rainfall. This is Nature. It is not regulated. Branches and logs can move into the water hole after storms. Check the water before jumping. Start at lower levels. Dive at your own risk etc

  4. I feel sick…my 3 boys and friends of ours from Orange spent hours there 2 days ago jumping and am now thankful that they are all safe. What a sad story and we had no idea of the recent dangers there.


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