Operations at one of Rio Tinto's East Intercourse Island Wharf have been suspended as authorities investigate the death of a 28 year old contractor from overseas.
Photo by: ABC News
A young Irishman who has just emigrated to find work in Australia a mere six weeks ago, has tragically died in a scaffolding accident.
Shaun McBride was performing maintenance work when the scaffolding he was standing on fell into the water beneath him at Rio Tinto’s Dampier port.
No one saw the Donegal man fall but his work colleagues over heard the crumbling scaffolding and raised the alarm after they found his hard hat floating in the water.
Initial searches failed to locate the 28-year-old but 12 hours later, his body was recovered from the ocean near Dampier Port.
Police Inspector David Picton-King said there was no witnesses to the fall.
The building site has been closed and a coroner’s inquiry has been launched both by local police and the Mines Department in Western Australia.
A spokesman for Rio Tinto mining group, with whom McBride has been working, said the tragedy would be fully investigated.
"I offer my sincere condolences to family, friends and team mates. We are ensuring that appropriate counselling services are available."
This is the third family tragedy for his widowed mother Sylvia, from Burtonport, Co Donegal, who lost two husbands in tragic circumstances.
Burtonport Parish Priest Fr Pat Ward told the Irish Independent
, the young man’s death would be felt hard in the community.
"It's a huge blow for the area and for Shaun's family, who are very well-respected."