Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Matthias Ashley BACHE

Inquest into the Death of Matthias Ashley BACHE

Delivered on : 7 December 2017

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner Vicker

Recommendations :N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : The deceased jumped from the Wyadup Rocks into the water in the channel connecting Injidup Natural Spa to the Ocean. He surfaced and attempted, unsuccessfully, to access the rocks at the waterline.  The current swept him out to sea and despite an extensive sea, land and air search, he was never seen again.  He was 25 years of age.

On 8 March 2016 sometime between 4-5 pm, the deceased and his friend drove to the Wyadup Rocks car park, with the intention to jump from the Wyadup Rocks into the ocean at the entrance to the channel to the spa. The deceased had jumped from the Wyadup Rocks before and there was a particular spot from which he normally jumped.  The conditions on the 8 March 2016 were not apparently rough out to sea, however, there appeared to be a strong swell and other visitors to the area commented the water crashing through the channel into the rock pool, was really forceful.

The deceased and his friend walked down to the spa and then climbed up the rocks into the channel where the water comes through to the inland side of the channel. The deceased’s friend commented to the deceased he believed the water was too rough for a normal jump and he advised the deceased that he was not going to jump into the water.  The deceased described the conditions as beautiful.  The deceased jumped into the water and the deceased’s friend saw the deceased surface from the water and tried to hold onto the rocks, but was unable to grip the rocks because the swell was too big.  The deceased’s friend told the deceased to swim out because it was not safe to exit through the rocks.  He knew the deceased was a very fit, strong and able swimmer and believed he would be able to complete swim while he went for help.

The next time anyone was aware of the deceased he was face down in the water and no longer attempting to swim. The deceased’s friend raised the warning as quickly as possible and surfers who were in the area immediately started to look for the deceased in an attempt to rescue him.  Unfortunately at water level visibility was restricted and they were unable to find the deceased.  The alarm was raised with emergency services and a search coordinated for the rest of that evening by WAPol and local marine rescue groups.  The deceased was not located.  A survival expert advised the search, the deceased was unlikely to survive more than 24 hours in the water.  The search continued for three days.

The Deputy State Coroner was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt as to the death of the deceased. She found the deceased died shortly after jumping into the water below the Wyadup Rocks on 8 March 2017 as a result of drowning.  Death occurred by way of Misadventure.

Catch Words : Risk taking : Diving from Rocks : Signage : Missing Person : Misadventure


Last updated: 20-Dec-2017

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