Death plunge

WHEN 17-year-old surfer Matt Jones discovered a dead body slumped on the rocks at the base of Point Danger yesterday, he thought there was no way it could be real.

"I thought it was a mannequin doll," the Tallebudgera teenager said.

"I thought 'That's not real', because of the colour of the skin. It was creamy yellow -- dead skin."

The body turned out to be that of a young woman and Matt and his three friends urgently contacted police after making the grisly discovery about 3.45pm DST.

Gold Coast teens Owen Duckering, 19, Ryan Pearson, 19, and Jesse Aubrey, 16, were with Matt, who had been standing on a rock to "check out the surf conditions" when he discovered the body at the bottom of on the rocks below the Point Danger lookout, near Froggy's beach.

The boys said the fully-clothed young woman appeared to have plunged about 50m from the top of the cliff at the popular tourist spot and had landed face down on the rocks.

"She looked about early 20s," Owen said. "She looked like she had been there since last night or early this morning and she had cuts and scratches from sliding on the rocks."

While two of the boys ran up the hill to alert the Volunteer Marine Rescue, the other two called 000 for help. Ryan said there was a slight delay in getting through to an 000 operator and then another 20-minute wait for police to arrive. Police from both sides of the border attended the scene, but there was confusion as to whether the body was on New South Wales or Queensland territory.

Roger Magill from the VMR said he had originally contacted Tweed Heads police, but they suggested he call Coolangatta police.

"There was a bit of a cross-border thing going on," Mr Magill said. Police roped off the area to conduct investigations, with paramedics also arriving on the scene. Members of the public passing by stopped to see what was going on from the top of the lookout and the base of the cliff.

While the discovery of the body proved to be "pretty gruesome" for Owen and Ryan, astonishingly, it was Matt's third time that he had seen a dead body.

"I was about 14 or 15 when I saw my first one," he said.

"A guy at the end of my street shot himself and then last year, when I was on holidays in Cairns, a guy had a heart attack and cracked his head open on the ground."

Owen said he was not too traumatised by the incident, because he had seen graphic images on television.

"I'm feeling a bit desensitised from seeing it on TV," he said.

The circumstances of the woman's death were unknown late yesterday.



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