Zip line shuts down after death

A South Australian man has died after falling from a zip line in the Daintree Rainforest in Far North Queensland.

A zip line attraction in Far North Queensland has been shut down for the “foreseeable future” as authorities investigate how an Adelaide tourist plunged to his death in an accident last week.

Dean Sanderson, 50, died on Tuesday when the zip line run by Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours in the Daintree National Park in Far North Queensland broke, causing him to fall 16 metres.

His 48-year-old wife Shannon also fell and remains in a serious condition at Cairns Hospital.

A report is being prepared for the State Coroner.

The Cape Tribulation tour company said in a statement the Daintree zip line attraction would be closed as the company offered support to Mr Sanderson’s family, guests and staff.

“We’re working closely with Workplace Health and Safety to establish the cause of the accident,” the company’s general manager Claire Stevenson said.

“Once they have completed their investigation, we’ll have a clearer picture on what caused the accident.

“So for now, all our tours will be closed for the foreseeable future.”

The company is cancelling and offering full refunds on all tours up until November 11.

Last week, tourist Mardi Liebelt, who was next in line after Mr Sanderson on the zip line, spoke of the “bloodcurdling scream” she heard as he and his wife fell.

“The twang when the zip line came back up made an awful noise, then there was just silence for what seemed like forever,” she told the ABC.

“And then the lady was just screaming for help, a terrible bloodcurdling scream that I never wish to hear again.”

Ms Liebelt, from Hervey Bay, said a fellow tourist, a paramedic who was also waiting to use the flying fox, rushed to help the injured couple.

“He managed to revive (Mr Sanderson) for a while, but he died because of massive head trauma,” Ms Liebelt said.

Ms Liebelt was one of the last people to speak with Mr Sanderson and described the couple as “very friendly”.

“Ironically, they were telling us how they had zip lined in Bali and how there’s not much in the way of safety there and how they felt much safer being back in Australia and zip lining,” she said.

The accident came 15 years after a similar tragedy in Cape Tribulation, where a 21-year-old British tourist Lucy Keen fell 20 metres and was left permanently brain damaged after operator Steve Jay Clark failed to secure her harness properly.


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