Capes ocean safety fears hosed down

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Signs at Injidup Natural Spa depicting the dangerous conditions. The Department of Transport and Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions are urging everyone rock fishing and boating to wear life jackets with three people washed off rocks along the Capes this year
Camera IconSigns at Injidup Natural Spa depicting the dangerous conditions. The Department of Transport and Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions are urging everyone rock fishing and boating to wear life jackets with three people washed off rocks along the Capes this year Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

Community calls for more safety equipment and multi-lingual signs at hazardous tourist hotspots in the Capes have been hosed down by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions this week.

After a gruelling five days, police abandoned the search for 23-year-old Heng Yi Goh, the second person lost off the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park after 28-year-old Loi Ho Dinh in March.

Police believe Mr Goh’s body washed ashore at Wyadup Rocks on Thursday.

Naturaliste Volunteer Marine Rescue Group vice-commander Paul Bresland last week said more needed to be done to prevent emergencies after three tourists had been swept off rocks in dangerous conditions this year.

A DBCA spokesperson said Parks and Wildlife Services routinely checked signage in tourist hotspots in the South West.

“The department’s coastal safety signs use pictograms to clearly convey messages to foreign visitors. These symbols are in-line with the Australian Standards for Aquatic Safety Signs,” they said.

The spokesperson said about 100 “angel ring” devices had been installed at high-risk locations across the State including at Sugarloaf Rock and Injidup Natural Spa.

But with more people travelling to the South West during COVID-19 travel restrictions the importance of wearing a lifejacket when boating and rock fishing has been reinforced by the Department of Transport.

Department of Transport acting director of waterways safety management Laurence Adams said in an emergency wearing a lifejacket gave responders extra time to raise the alarm, and assisted survival.

Incident investigations have revealed 73 per cent of deaths on WA waters may have been avoided if the person had been wearing a lifejacket.

“This latest initiative continues the important work over many years to make it automatic for people to put on a lifejacket,” Mr Adams said.

Visit transport.wa.gov.au/makeadifference for lifejacket maintenance education clinic venues and guidelines.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails