Victorian woman Anneka Bading had set out for a relaxed afternoon of swimming at the Grampians National Park on Saturday when the unimaginable happened.
The 24-year-old was filming herself swimming at Mackenzie Falls with a GoPro camera when a 28-year-old man fell into the water behind her.
“I first noticed something was wrong when my friend said, ‘why are they yelling?’ And then I turned around and saw a lady pointing and yelling out,” Ms Bading told 9 News.
A group of about 10 people attempted to save the man, and an off-duty lifeguard also tried to pull him out of the rough, deep water near the falls.
“One girl grabbed my GoPro stick and tried to use it to save him. I then clicked someone was drowning,” Ms Bading also told The Statwell Times.
However, the man, believed to be a Taiwanese national living in Australia, could not be rescued and his body was tragically found the next morning.
At the time, Ms Bading had no phone signal and no one present was able to call emergency services.
“I had to drive for about 10 minutes to get reception then I pulled over,” she said.
“It’s just a popular area where a lot of people visit every day with toilet facilities and lots of car parks .... I think a place like this should have some sort of reception for any kind or emergency or accident. Or something else in place to seek help.”
Following on from the devastating accident, the 24-year-old is calling for better signage in the area, although Parks Victoria says there are three on display.
“It didn’t look dangerous at the time, because we saw other people swimming in there when we arrived. I didn’t see any signs at all near the base of the fall where everyone was swimming. No one said anything,” she said.
“I’m just sorry for the man who wasn’t aware of the danger and lost his life because of it.”