Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Faycal AL SAIDI

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Faycal AL SAIDI

Delivered on : 13 April 2022

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner Linton

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : On 2 December 2020 Mr Al Saidi and his partner went to Salmon Beach in Esperance to walk along the rocks on the east side of the bay.  A number of witnesses saw Mr Al Saidi walking out onto the black, slippery rocks, near the waters’ edge.  He was apparently unaware of the dangers, despite there being warning signs in the area.  Mr Al Saidi was struck unexpectedly by a wave, causing him to fall.  He was seen to be trying to stand up, but the rocks were slippery.  Before he could regain his footing, Mr Al Saidi was struck by another wave and was this time swept from the rocks into the ocean.  Mr Al Saidi has not been seen since.

Mr Al Saidi was in good health and appeared to be happy and well prior to his disappearance.  He was working and lived with his partner, and they were planning to get married in the near future.  The couple rented a camper van and drove to the south west for a holiday towards the end of 2020.   On 2 December 2020 the couple drove to Salmon Beach in Esperance.  During the afternoon, they decided to go for a walk on the beach.

When they went down to the beach Mr Al Saidi was taking photos of his partner on the rocks to the east of where their van was parked.  Mr Al Saidi then walked out further onto the rocks, and he was seen by witnesses to nearly walk to the end of the rocks and that he had walked onto the black rock area, which was dark because it was wet.  Witnesses described the rocks as looking slippery and noted a big and dangerous swell coming in behind Mr Al Saidi.  One witness was so concerned for Mr Al Saidi’s safety that he took a photo of him on his mobile phone as a record.

Seconds later Mr Al Saidi was hit by a wave which knocked him over and he fell onto all fours.  Witnesses could see from a distance that Mr Al Saidi was scrambling to get back up, but before he could do so another wave crashed over him and he slid into the water.  Mr Al Saidi did not know how to swim and had no experience with rough ocean conditions.  Witnesses could see that Mr Al Saidi had been pulled into an area where a whirlpool had formed between two rocks which would have made it difficult for him to get out, even if he could swim well.  Mr Al Saidi’s partner could see that he was being pulled towards the beach in the water, so she jumped into the water to try and help him, but a wave pushed her back onto the rocks and she hit her head.  She managed to crawl back up onto a rock and then ran to where a lifesaving ring was located and tried to get it off the stand, but she struggled as it was heavy.

A witness ran to assist with the life ring and then took it onto the beach because he had seen that Mr Al Saidi had drifted away from the rocks.  The witness threw the ring as far as he could from the shore, but Mr Al Saidi was approximately 20 to 25 metres away at that stage and the ring did not reach him.  Mr Al Said was still conscious at this stage but appeared to be struggling to stay above the water.  The life ring washed back onto the shore, so the witness threw it two or three more times out towards Mr Al Saidi, but each time it did not go far enough to reach him.  As Mr Al Saidi did not know how to swim, he could not make his way towards the life ring.  The witness got back up to the rocks to see if he could have more success with the life ring.  He saw Mr Al Said go under the water and he did not see him re-surface.

Local police officers from Esperance Police Station were notified at about 2.45 pm that a person had been washed from the rocks into the ocean at Salmon Beach.  A number of police officers immediately drove to the beach and a search for Mr Al Saidi commenced.  It became clear to police and other searchers at an early stage on the afternoon of 2 December 2020 that the prospect of finding Mr Al Saidi alive were very small.  Searchers utilised volunteer marine vessels and jet skis from the local Surf Lifesaving WA branch to search the water, as well as a drone and private helicopter to search from the air.  The search was suspended entirely at the end of the second day.

The Deputy State Coroner was satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that Mr Al Saidi died on 2 December 2020 after he was washed into the water at Salmon Bay in Esperance.  The Deputy State Coroner was also satisfied that his death was due to drowning and found the manner of death was by way of Misadventure.

Catch Words : Missing Person : Land and Air Search : Misadventure

Last updated: 18-Jul-2022

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