Jake Gibbons, 31, was on his first abseiling trip.
Jake Gibbons, 31, was on his first abseiling trip.

Evidence lost in abseiling death probe

POLICE investigating an abseiling accident in which a man was fatally injured are appealing for public assistance to locate a vital piece of evidence left behind at the scene.

First-time abseiler Jake Gibbons, 31, was critically injured in the accident at a rock formation called The Sister located at The Leap, north of Mackay, on October 2.

He died in Townsville Hospital a day later.

The piece of equipment, called a descender, was inadvertently left at the base of the cliff - near the walking track that leads up the mountain - during the rescue operation, police said.

It is understood the device, along with other equipment, had been moved to make space for the rescue helicopter. The descender was then left behind and not seen in the dark when officers left.

The descender is a device that controls the rate of descent while abseiling.

Police searched the area on October 5 failed to locate the item.

As the area is frequently used by bushwalkers, it is thought someone might have picked up the equipment, police said.

Anyone who may have this item is asked to contact Policelink on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers online or on 1800 333 000.

Police are still preparing a report for the coroner.