Tributes for Cairns firey who died at Behana Gorge
A CAIRNS firefighter with a passion for the great outdoors died yesterday in an accident at a Far North beauty spot.
Brant Jones, 58, was on a walk with family and friends at Behana Gorge yesterday morning when he slipped and fell into the water.
He went out of sight and was retrieved when paramedics arrived nearly an hour later.
Mr Jones was described as a good bloke who kept in shape and was active in the community.
Cairns Country Patrol Group Inspector Rhys Newton said people with the man told police he looked unconscious as he fell.
"We're assuming at this stage that he may have hit his head and fell unconscious during the fall," Insp Newton said.
"The people who were with him tried to get him out but were unable to."
Insp Newton said the area, south of Cairns, was challenging for emergency services, with difficult terrain and poor phone reception.
"The people who were with him had to run back to the carpark to get service," he said.
"Every possible effort was made, but in the end it unfortunately didn't bear fruit."
Paramedics were called out at 7.30am yesterday, with police also attending. The incident came just three weeks after former Gordonvale woman Sherei Anderson, 32, and partner Simon Walker, 24, fell to their deaths at Kearneys Falls in Goldsborough.
Tablelands patrol group Insp Russell Rhodes said he knew "Jonesy" as a fit and friendly man.
"He joined QFES in 1995 and did a lot of work with the Rural Fire Brigade volunteer service," he said.
"He was just a really good person in the community and kept very healthy."
The Department of Environment and Science yesterday issued a closure for the Behana Gorge, which will be in effect until further notice.
Visitors are advised to observe all signage, barriers and directions from rangers, and do not enter closed areas.
Councillor Brett Moller, who in February argued for a crackdown on safety at the popular swimming site, said his thoughts were with the family.
"This incident shows us the risks that we need to be aware of within our beautiful natural assets," he said.
"Ultimately it comes back to personal safety and having regard for what's around you."