Police gather around the Collingwood Park lake where a 22-year-old man drowned.
Police gather around the Collingwood Park lake where a 22-year-old man drowned. Sarah Keayes

Man, 22 drowns in lake

A 22-YEAR-OLD Sudanese man drowned yesterday after he jumped into a water-filled disused open cut mine.

The man, who police said could not swim, was at the lake about one kilometre off Gibbs Avenue at Collingwood Park when he leapt into the water about 2.40pm.

Senior Sergeant John McCrae said the man, whose family lived at Riverview, was with a group of boys aged between about 10 and 14.

The lake is set among rugged bushland criss-crossed with meandering dirt roads accessible only by four-wheel drive and by foot.

“The other kids were a little bit further up the lake swinging into the lake on ropes and he was on his own,” Snr Sgt McCrae said.

“Enquiries conducted by police found he couldn’t swim. He jumped in on his own and, because it was an old mine, it just went straight down at the edge and judging by other lakes around here it could be 30 to 40 metres deep.

“He must have gone straight down and never came up again.”

Snr Sgt McCrae said two young men arrived to have a swim and heard a commotion around where the man went in.

“They jumped in and spent half an hour looking for him,” he said.

“They found him wedged under a ledge. He was pulled out about 3.17pm.

“Police arrived from Goodna and tried to resuscitate him but he had been under the water for more than half an hour so there really was no chance.

“People don’t realise the danger of these mine lakes. I mean, from the outside it looks like a lovely place to swim.”

A Queensland Ambulance Service emergency paramedic arrived but it was all too late.

The distraught looks on the two young police officers’ faces told the trauma of their experience.

Other police had the grim task of telling the man’s family.

About 4.20pm the two would-be rescuers left. Beside the lake the group of boys spoke to police around an upturned dumped car body.

Nearby, the body of the man lay on his back, his head and torso covered by a pink jumper.

The lake is one of a number of water-filled disused mines in the area.

Further up towards Riverview is the lake thought to contain murdered Riverview woman Dulcie Birt.



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