ASLYUM SEEKER STUDENT DROWNED ROCK FISHING

A high school operator has been fined $420,000 over the death of a student who drowned during a camping trip. The tribunal found that no risk assessment was conducted for the dangerous rock fishing activity that led to the incident. The camping trip took place in the Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, located on the southwest tip of Yorke Peninsula, about 300 kilometres west of Adelaide.

During the trip, the students, including 16-year-old asylum seeker 'Ahmad,' went fishing from a rocky outcrop. One student fell into the sea, leading Ahmad and another boy to either slip or jump in to attempt a rescue. While two students were able to save themselves, Ahmad tragically drowned. His body was recovered the following day.

Ahmad was a beneficiary of the school's two-year free tuition program for the children of overseas asylum seekers in Australia. However, the students were not provided with life jackets or safety equipment while engaging in rock fishing.

The operator pleaded guilty to breaching work health and safety laws. The South Australia Employment Tribunal highlighted that rock fishing is considered Australia's most dangerous sport, with a significant number of drowning deaths involving individuals born overseas.

The tribunal stressed the importance of safeguarding children and the vulnerability of students under the care of schools. The operator was initially fined $700,000, but the penalty was reduced to $420,000, a 40% reduction due to an early guilty plea.

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