Below is a list of canyoning deaths in canyons around Sydney, and any information about them. While this may seem a bit morbid, the main reason is to try and learn from mistakes.

Any additional information would be appreciated. The Canyoning Australia site also has a forum on accidents.

[Note some of the ones below are tenuous]

19/03/2023 - Wollangambe (2)
Munib Dar (39) drowned after he slipped and became stuck between boulders in Wollangambe Canyon

02/01/2021 - Wollangambe
Senior Constable Kelly Foster (39) and Chinese international student Yuanlei (Jennifer) Qi (24) died when they were sucked into a siphon (whirlpool) while liloing in Wollangambe Canyon

02/09/2019 - Wolgan Valley
Roy Barlow (65) fell and died while abseiling at the end of a canyon in the Wolgan Valley

24/12/2011 - near Carrington Falls
Paramedic Mick Wilson died during a rescue operation when a winching operation went wrong. The rescue helicopter crew that he was part of was trying to rescue a canyoner who was badly injured after falling when his rope cut over a sharp edge. (login required)

14/01/2010 - Wollangambe/Whungee Wheengee
Nick Delaney (15) died after a rock fell on him. His party had been lost for a couple of days. (log in required)

25/02/2008 - Empress
An American visitor died after collapsing on the abseil

06/12/2007 - Claustral
Ian Knapp (61) died after becoming jammed in the final technical obstacle in high water

31/12/06 - Danae Brook
Ben Porter (31) died after slipping over the edge of Kanangra Walls in the dark on the exit

22/01/2005 - Empress
Matthew Donovan (32) died in high water in the second last pool

??/01/2004 - Whungee Wheengee
Steven Connolly Snr died, probably from a stroke (log in required)

24/11/2002 - Bungleboori
Daniusz Sadowski (34) died after not clipping in to his abseil device correctly. His party had been lost for a couple of days.

11/03/2001 - Bowens Creek
A female canyoner died in high water just before the first abseil 13a0065f3/a5b89ccfbe9d3a80?hl=en&lnk=gst&q=canyoning+death

12/06/2000 - Carra Beanga
Mark Charles (25) and Steve Rogers (25) died on an abseil
a copy of the article from the Good Weekend magazine on the NUMC deaths in Carra Beanga Canyon in June 2000

11/06/2000 - Tiger Snake
Keith Campbell (20) died when a sandstone edge gave way and he fell 40m

19/12/1999 - Twister
A canyoner died when a party of 2 were unable to find the exit route, tried to climb out via an alternate route, and two holds broke causing the person to fall.

~08/04/1999 - Wollangambe
Siobhan Halls (17) died after being dragged underwater in high water

17/04/1997 - Kalang Falls
Phil Atkinson died after falling about 8m down a waterfall

31/01/1982 - Claustral (flash flood, 3 people from SPAN Outdoors died)
Back from the Brink - Andy Macqueen

??/09/1981 - Margaret Falls (Dione Dell)
David Irvine (16) died when he got stuck on a knot on the 110m Margaret Falls.

??/12/1974 - Arethusa
Graham Lawler (28) drowned, possibly as a result of suffering cramps
Back from the Brink - Andy Macqueen

From: David Noble
Subject: Re: [OzCanyons] canyoning deaths

There have been a few deaths near Kanangra.

One was a girl in a SUSS party (mid 80's?) who did not clip into the rope correctly (or at all?) on an abseil in Kanangra Falls (on of the lower ones)

And not long after - a male person died on a "Canyon" near Kanangra - I think his party were attempting to abseil down a gully between Kalang and Kanangra Falls.

The was also the death of a caver (SSS I think) in the mid 70's - in Arethusa - I think from cold water induced heart attack. This should be also in "Back From The Brink"


David Noble