Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

SHERRY INQUEST RETURNS TO BEACH Police Criticise Warning Signs; a[euro][approximately]Inadequatewarningsigns Forswimmers'

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

SHERRY INQUEST RETURNS TO BEACH Police Criticise Warning Signs; a[euro][approximately]Inadequatewarningsigns Forswimmers'

Article excerpt

Byline: DOMINIC FEAIN dominic.feain@northern star.com.au

MEMBERS of the Sherry family revisited South Ballina Beach yesterday where Joseph and Carole Sherry tragically lost their lives rescuing their children in January.

It was the first day of the coronial inquest into the drownings, where inadequate warning signs andunclear emergency call-out procedures dominated proceedings at the Ballina Court House.

Before hearing evidence, Coroner Jeff Linden adjourned proceedings so the court could visit the scene of the tragedy after lead investigating officer, Detective Senior Constable Rowena Freer, expressed concern about new signs erected at the site earlier this month in response to the deaths.

"I feel the signs, in my opinion, are not big enough and are not close enough to the beach," she told the inquest.

Joseph Sherry's mother, Mary, and sisters Margaret Leedham and Jennifer Hackney, represented the family in a brave and dignified manner, following the court convoy to the beach.

In a moving moment, the three paused at the two large white crosses erected at the end of the track in memory of Joseph and Carole, before walking out, alone, on to the beach.

They declined to comment on the court proceedings, saying they were happy to wait for Coroner Linden's findings, due in September, but took a moment to again thank the whole Northern Rivers community.

"We just think it is an amazing community up here," Mrs Sherry said.

"We want to thank every-one, the police force, the ambulance, the rescue services and the whole community, not just Ballina and Lismore, but all over.

"The response and support was incredible and we can't thank you enough."

Ballina Shire Council general manager Paul Hickey and reserve manager Jillian Pratten attended the inquest as a party of interest, al-though South Ballina Beach falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Water, and is managed through the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

When the inquest resumed, counsel assisting the police, Brett Gradisnik, expressed concern the department's signage did not take into account the individual situation at South Ballina Beach, with only two safety signs erected since the tragedy and the closest being some distance from the beach. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.