Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Roland PALKOVICS

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Roland PALKOVICS

Delivered on :18 August 2022

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner Linton

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : Roland Palkovics (Mr Palkovics) was las seen on 22 July 2020 when he left his home on West Island in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.  He intended to go to The Spot, a beach on the western side of West Island, about three kilometres from the West Island Township.  Mr Palkovics intended to go stand-up paddle boarding there, which he did regularly.

An acquaintance of Mr Palkovics drove past The Spot at about 7.20am and saw Mr Palkovics’ car parked there.  At about 7.30am the same person drove back past The Spot again, and observed Mr Palkovics’ paddle board floating unattended in the water.  There was no sign of Mr Palkovics.  After pulling up and concentrating on the water to try and find Mr Palkovics, he thought he saw a body in the water.  He immediately left the beach to notify the local medical staff as he thought Mr Palkovics might need medical attention.  In the meantime, another person paddled out into the water but was unable to locate the body that had possibly been seen.  Mr Palkovics paddleboard was, however, able to be retrieved as it had floated towards the shore.

Police officers and local volunteers attended the area immediately and an extensive search was conducted of the surrounding land and sea.  The only other item of interest located during the search was Mr Palkovics’ black paddle used for stand-up paddleboarding.  It was found floating in the water near the shore not long after the search commenced.  The search continued the following day, with nothing further of interest found.  The search was suspended on the evening of 23 July 2020 as it was determined there was no chance of finding Mr Palkovics alive.

The Deputy State Coroner was satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt Mr Palkovics died on or about 22 July 2020, and his death was likely due to drowning, but there was insufficient evidence for the Deputy State Coroner to be able to be satisfied to the requisite standard of a cause or manner of death.  The Deputy State Coroner found the cause of death was unascertained and the manner of death as open.

Catch Words : Missing Person : Land and Sea Search: Paddle Boarding : Open Finding

Last updated: 13-Dec-2022

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