Falls warning signs ignored

THRILL seekers are ignoring five warning signs to reach a dangerous spot on Eurobin Falls from where three people have fallen and been injured in little more than a month.

The accidents have prompted Parks Victoria rangers and police to meet next week to assess safety at the Mount Buffalo waterfall.

Two young Myrtleford men slipped down a ledge between the upper and lower falls on December 9 with one knocked unconscious.

In exactly the same spot last Saturday, a 24-year-old from Melbourne slipped and tumbled down the falls, suffering a compound fracture to his leg after it was trapped under a boulder at the bottom.

Parks Victoria Mount Buffalo ranger Julien Atherstone said some park users were ignoring the five warning signs as they walked 500 metres up to the trouble spot between the upper and lower falls.

The tempting rock pool can be reached only by walking off the track and through vegetation, beyond clear warning signs that read “No entry. This track is closed” and “Failure to do so may result in severe injury”.

The tranquil water cascading on the smooth granite hides real danger.

Mr Atherstone said green moss growing under the water makes the rock surface extremely slippery.

“People don’t realise that green slime is treacherous,” he said.

The history of accidents at this spot include a 10-year-old who broke his ankle in 2006, a Melbourne man who suffered abrasions and pelvic injuries in 2010 and a Griffith farmer killed in 1931.

Mr Atherstone said two accidents within five weeks was unusual and he would meet with police next week to review signage and consider fencing off the area.

But he questions whether more signs or fencing would make any difference.

“Signage only stops the sensible and those wanting to hear the message,” Mr Atherstone said.

“You don’t want to put the national park in a bubble.

“It’s a dynamic and rugged park and we can’t sign every risk.”

Wodonga preschool teacher Lea Jones was walking the Eurobin Falls Track on Wednesday with Michael Carroll.

The pair were trekking for the week and had read about last Saturday’s accident where police described the injuries like those suffered from a car crash.

“We’ve been talking about it for two days and carrying graphic images in our mind. It’s made us more aware,” Ms Jones said.

She said they read the warning signs before taking the trek.

“We get cranky about people not doing the right thing,” she said.

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