A BRITISH rugby player drowned after jumping off a waterfall at an Australian beauty spot when his friends piled on top of him.
Charlie Williams, 24, was enjoying the sunshine at Behana Gorge swimming hole, south of Cairns, Australia, when the group of friends he had met at a nearby hostel decided to start sliding down the natural rock formations.
Charlie Williams, 24, was a keen rugby player and died at the Australian beauty spot Credit: Hyde News & Pictures
He was pursuing his dream to be a musician and a DJ in Australia when the disaster struck
The 24-year-old, who lived in Aylesbury, Bucks., was pursuing his dream to be a musician and a DJ in Australia when the disaster struck.
Coroner Alison McCormick was told how he was the first of his group to jump off the waterfall at around 5pm on April 10 this year – before three or four others swiftly followed him into the cold and dark water.
Australian Coroner Nerida Wilson said: “The others followed Charlie a split second behind him and landed on top of him. When the others came to the surface they noticed that Charlie was not there.
“Another man dived down to try to find him. They could not locate him and it was approximately five minutes before Charlie was found by another man in the group.
“They removed him from the water and commenced CPR.”
The hearing at Buckinghamshire Coroner's Court in Beaconsfield was told that some of his friends, who Charlie had met at the Mamas Hostel in Cairns, ran three kilometres down to the end of the gorge to get help.
Ambulance crews sped to the scene but despite their best efforts, Charlie was declared dead just before 7pm.
Concluding the inquest, Ms McCormick said: “I am satisfied that Charlie's death was not suspicious and no-one intended him to come to any harm.
“The bruising to his scalp and the injuries to his chin and arms may suggest Charlie suffered them when one or more of the group hit him but this is speculation.
“It is not clear why or how Charlie came to drown during what should have been a fun-filled afternoon of adventure in a beautiful location. Charlie's death was a tragic accident and even more terrible for Charlie's family as it happened so far away from home.
“I agree with the Australian coroner that this was an accident and there that will be my conclusion.”
After his death, his friends and family paid tribute to him.
Bicester Rugby Union Football Club posted: “It is with a very heavy heart that I tell you that yesterday afternoon, Charlie Williams, seen here in his Bicester kit standing between George and Cam, died in a tragic accident in the Behana Gorge, Cairns, QLD.
“Charlie played his senior rugby at Bicester and as a Junior at both Banbury RUFC and Chinnor RFC. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and many friends at this time.”
Oxfordshire Rugby Football Union wrote: “Our thoughts are with Bicester RUFC and the family and friends of Charlie Williams, who has died in a tragic accident in the Behana Gorge, Cairns, QLD.”
The beauty spot where Charlie died, located just 30 minutes from Cairns, features swimming holes, breathtaking views and waterfalls that flow into a deep granite gorge.
It is a popular destination for tourists and locals who love nature.
In November 2019, firefighter Brant Jones died after slipping along Behana Gorge and falling into the water.
Emergency services pulled him from the water, but sadly he could not be revived.
Behana Gorge is located near Cairns, Australia
Mr Williams, from Buckinghamshire, was described as a kind person
He died while swimming at Behana Gorge swimming hole in QueenslandInternet Explorer Channel Network