British tourist, 24, tragically drowned after jumping from waterfall at Australian beauty spot
British tourist, 24, tragically drowned after jumping from waterfall at Australian beauty spot before friends landed on him, investigation finds
- Charlie Williams, 24, died in Behana Gorge in Queensland, Australia on April 10
- He drowned after jumping stunts with friends he met at a nearby hostel
- Mr Williams, from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, had dreamed of being a musician
- British inquest agreed with Australian coroner his death was “a tragic accident”
A British tourist has tragically died after jumping from waterfalls in Australia amid a fun afternoon with friends, an investigation found today.
Charlie Williams, 24, was enjoying the sun at the Behana Gorge Swimming Pool in Queensland, Australia, when the group of friends he had met at a nearby hostel decided to start sliding along the natural rock formations .
The inquest heard that Mr Williams, who lived in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, was in the Sunshine State pursuing his dream of becoming a musician and DJ, when the tragedy occurred on April 10.
Charlie Williams, 24 (center), was with a group of friends when he drowned at the Behana Gorge swimming hole in Queensland, Australia on April 10
Mr Williams, originally from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, was living in Australia on a work visa to pursue his dreams of becoming a musician and DJ
During the hearing at Buckinghamshire Coroner’s Court in Beaconsfield, Coroner Alison McCormick heard details that Mr Williams was the first in his group to jump from the waterfall at around 5 p.m., before three or four other people quickly follow him through cold, dark water.
In evidence, Australian coroner Nerida Wilson said: “The others followed Charlie a split second behind him and landed on him. When the others came to the surface, they noticed Charlie wasn’t there.
“Another man dove in to try and find him. They couldn’t locate him and it was about five minutes before Charlie was found by another man in the group.
“They took him out of the water and started CPR.”
The inquest heard that some of Mr Williams’ friends, whom he had met at Mamas Hostel in Cairns, had run two miles down their throat for help.
Paramedics rushed to the scene but despite their best efforts, the young man was pronounced dead shortly before 7 p.m.
An autopsy conducted in Australia by Dr Paul Botterill revealed that the avid rugby player suffered bruises to his head and arms. However, these injuries were not significant enough to have killed him and the pathologist ruled that Charlie’s main cause of death was drowning.
A toxicological exam revealed he had 72 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, just below the UK drunk driving limit. Mr. Williams also had a very low rate of the cannabis metabolite in his blood. The coroner ruled that these had no direct role in his death.
Concluding the investigation, Ms McCormick said: “I am convinced that Charlie’s death was not suspicious and that no one intended to harm him.
“The bruises on his scalp and injuries to his chin and arms may suggest that Charlies suffered them when one or more members of the group hit him, but that is speculation.
Avid rugby player Mr Williams had suffered bruises to his head and arms, but the pathologist decided his main cause of death was drowning.
Bahana Gorge is a popular spot for tourists and wildlife lovers alike, while locals warn that the water current can be “dangerous” at times.
“It’s not clear why or how Charlie drowned during what should have been a fun adventure afternoon in a beautiful location. Charlie’s death was a tragic accident and even more terrible for Charlie’s family because it happened so far from home.
“I agree with the Australian coroner that this was an accident and that will be my conclusion.”
After his death, his friends and family paid tribute to him.
Bicester Rugby Union Football Club posted: “It is with a very heavy heart that I tell you that yesterday afternoon Charlie Williams, seen here in his Bicester kit standing between George and Cam, died in a tragic accident in Behana Gorge, Cairns, QLD.
“Charlie played his senior rugby at Bicester and as a junior at both Banbury RUFC and Chinnor RFC. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and many friends at this time.