Zipline company shuts while death investigated

JUNGLE Surfing Canopy Tours has shut its Daintree operation for the "foreseeable future", while investigators probe the cause of the death of one of its customers.

The Cape Tribulation tour company issued a statement late Friday, declaring it was devastated and shocked by the accident at its zipline site that resulted in the death of South Australian tourist Dean Sanderson, 50, on Tuesday last week.

The day after the Zipline death, Cape Tribulation which is a eco-tourism destination in northeast Queensland, within Daintree National Park - Photo Peter Michael
The day after the Zipline death, Cape Tribulation which is a eco-tourism destination in northeast Queensland, within Daintree National Park - Photo Peter Michael

The Adelaide father-of-three fell 16m from the zipline at Jungle Surf Canopy, alongside his wife, Shannon, 48.

Mrs Sanderson survived the fall, suffering spinal and shoulder injuries, and has been recovering in Cairns Hospital.

Police, who were still guarding the site in dense rainforest on Friday, said yesterday they were continuing to work with other agencies in relation to the incident.

A report is being prepared for the State Coroner.

The company's general manager, Claire Stevenson, said they were prioritising offering support to the Sanderson family and guests on the tour, and to her staff.

Dean Sanderson died after falling from a zip line at Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours – at Cape Tribulation. Picture: Supplied by family
Dean Sanderson died after falling from a zip line at Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours – at Cape Tribulation. Picture: Supplied by family

"We're working closely with Workplace Health and Safety to establish the cause of the accident," she said.

"Once they have completed their investigation, we'll have a clearer picture on what caused the accident.

"So for now, all our tours will be closed for the foreseeable future."

She said the company was cancelling and offering a full refund on all its jungle surfing and night walk tours up until Monday, November 11.

"Thank you for your support and understanding during this difficult time," she said.

Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree chief executive Tara Bennett said it was too early to say what it would mean for the industry if Jungle Surfing did not re-open, but encouraged locals to show their support for the community.

Tourism Port Douglas Daintree executive officer Tara Bennett PIC: GIZELLE GHIDELLA
Tourism Port Douglas Daintree executive officer Tara Bennett PIC: GIZELLE GHIDELLA

"Jungle Surfing's suspension of activities is being felt by operators," she said.

"We are encouraging as many locals as possible to get out and explore their backyard.

"There are wonderful attractions in the Daintree from boutique ice creameries to sustainable tour attractions and unique small group tours."

She hoped Far North Queenslanders would be further incentivised to visit the area, with applications for free car ferry transfers over the Daintree River open from November 1.

The Douglas Card is available to residents living in Douglas Shire, Mareeba Shire, the Cairns region, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire, Tablelands region, Cook Shire, Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire, Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire and the Cassowary Coast region.

Applications can be found at douglas.qld.gov.au/daintree-ferry