Real Lives Impacted
At the age of 21, Matt was a fully qualified heavy duty mechanic working a FIFO job in the Pilbara. Having booked an around-the-world ticket, Matt and a group of friends spent the day at Karijini National Park to celebrate.
Matt was drunk when he ignored warning signs and climbed to the top of a waterfall. Tragically, he slipped and was sent hurtling over the edge and into the gorge, landing heavily on rocks, breaking his neck and severing his spinal cord. He was told he would never walk again.
Matt’s life changed in that fateful moment. “My injury took me from ‘living’ a great life to becoming a spectator in an instant; it's like sitting on the sidelines - you know what you want to do and you know how to do it but you just can't,” said Matt.
Matt says he never should have been drinking around water in the first place, being known by friends for making ‘stupid decisions’ under the influence of alcohol. “A series of poor decisions that I made that day took away so many things that I treasured in life, including travel, relationships, lifestyle, and freedom. Don’t make the same mistake,” said Matt.
Stuart Dye, Captain of the Albury and Border Rescue Squad, recovers bodies from waterways around the Murray River region, the number one river drowning blackspot.
Stuart has recovered many bodies over the years which are still very vivid in his mind. A number of which were men who drowned under the influence of alcohol. Each person was doing seemingly harmless activities, fishing, swimming, or having fun with mates, but due to their inebriation, they tragically drowned.
Stuart gets frustrated at these tragedies that could have been avoided. Stuart is making a call out to men, saying “Look out for your mates, don’t just stand back and let them do something stupid. Stand up and stop them from going for their final swim.”
Watch Stuart Dye and Peter Wright talk about their experience as volunteer divers for the Albury and Border Rescue Squad on the Murray River.
Do you have a story that you would like to share? Please contact Lucy Rae at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 8217 3141.
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