Wade McCurdy

Champion WA bodyboarder Wade McCurdy, 19, jumped from the Dawesville Bridge pedestrian underpass, south of Mandurah, with a mate about 1 am last night.

The friend surfaced and managed to swim ashore but the teen failed to surface. A woman was with the pair when they jumped about 20 meters to the water below.

Mr. McCurdy's body was recovered from the Dawesville Cut this morning following a big search involving aircraft, divers, police launches, and volunteers.

It was a further devastating blow to his family, who lost another son, Ryan, 22, at the same time last year when he fell out of a tree.

“Ryan was an elder brother who Wade really looked up to,” a family friend who did not want to be named said.

Police said Wade McCurdy's death was a case of horseplay turned tragic.

“They were just walking along and horsing around and thought it would be a good idea to jump off,” Sergeant Greg Lambert said.

“Unfortunately, it was a good idea for one of them but it went horribly wrong for the other.

“They have probably jumped off the same bridge during the day, but at night, you don’t know where the water is. It is a fairly high bridge and you would be falling at great speed into darkness. By the time you hit the water, it would be like hitting concrete. This was a very tragic accident and his friend was very fortunate.”

Police said they were in touch with the dead man’s family. Sgt Lambert said Mr. McCurdy probably knocked himself out or was winded when he hit the water.

“He has made a mistake and paid a very big price,” he said.

Police today used the tragedy to warn others about the risks of boating and swimming.

“The weather is warming up and this is an ideal opportunity to remind people that the water is unforgiving. Don’t put yourself in a position where you can make a mistake.”

IBAA would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the McCurdy family in this tragic time.

Mr. McCurdy lived in the Peel region suburb of Lakelands, just north of Mandurah.

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