The video, which appears to show a young man dangling by one hand 40 meters above the ocean, was uploaded to Instagram the same day two volunteer lifesavers drowned while rescuing a tourist near the 12 Apostles in western Victoria.
The bodies of a 35-year-old South Australian man and his five-year old daughter were also recovered on Sunday, after they were swept off the rocks at Cape Carnot in the Great Australian Bight while posing for a photograph.
“I assume [the video] is legit,” said Albany Sea Rescue Squad operations co-ordinator Chris Johns.
“If that guy got himself into trouble … he’s got no safety ropes, he’s not wearing any device that’s going to float him when he hits the water.
e coast near Albany is already notorious for drownings, with several fishermen swept off rocks in recent years.
Last year a 20-year-old Indian student fell to his death while attempting to take a picture at the same location at the site in the Torndirrup National Park.
In recent years the site has been renovated, with a large viewing platform built and warning signs and fences erected.
Mr Johns said the video was sent to him over the weekend by a friend as it circulated on social media.
“We don’t really want to acknowledge all of the rubbish they put on Instagram and Facebook because that’s what they’re doing it for … however there is a consequence if it goes wrong.
“[There is] a big ripple for Sea Rescue, Surf Lifesaving, Police, Department of Parks and Wildlife, SES [and] St John’s [Ambulance] … others have to place themselves in considerable risk.”
Can’t legislate against stupidity: Premier
While Premier Mark McGowan had not seen the footage, he admonished the act.
“You can’t legislate for total stupidity,” he said.
“If people want to act like complete and utter idiots it’s hard to control it … the punishment that guy could face is his own death.
Those sort of crazy antics have no place in WA.
But there are some precedents for curbing dangerous behaviour.
Last year WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti announced new penalties for train surfers after a video of a man leaping off a moving train on the Fremantle rail bridge into the Swan River emerged on social media.
In NSW, Parks and Wildlife rangers began working with police to stop tourists scaling a safety fence to take social media photos at popular tourist spot Wedding Cake Rock.
A 2015 geotechnical report spurred concerns the fragile white sandstone rock, perched precariously over the Pacific Ocean, could collapse into the sea 50 metres below.
In March 2016, NSW Parks and Wildlife Services gave rangers powers to hand out fines of up to $3,300 to people caught climbing the fence.
Mr Johns said he wanted political action to protect volunteers in WA.
“We’re surrounded by legislation … regulation and legislation is possible,” said Mr Johns.
“[If] you want to be a peanut, sometimes your shell isn’t going to be armour for you.
“At least it would be nice if there was some cost of recovery for acts of idiocy like this.”