Girl, 6, ‘swept away’ swimming at waterfall
The body of a six-year-old girl has been found after she was swept away while swimming with family and friends at Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.
NT Police said the group was at the base of Motor Car Falls about 5.30pm on Saturday "when there was a sudden surge of water and a fast-flowing current swept the little girl away".
"The group immediately searched for her without success," police said.
Multiple agencies searched the area which is only accessible on foot or by four-wheel-drive.
The girl's body was found by Territory Response Group members on Sunday.
According to the NT News, the girl was a student at a popular Darwin primary school.
"Our thoughts first and foremost are with the family of the young girl, and with our staff who responded to the incident," Parks Australia acting director of national parks, Brant Smith, said in a statement to news.com.au on Monday.
"Any loss of life is tragic, however the loss of a child is particularly distressing and we are all deeply saddened by this.
"I have asked for the area to remain closed for now on behalf of Traditional Owners, staff and the family as a mark of respect and as we all mourn."
🌧️ At Kakadu, all creatures are celebrating the recent rainfall that signals the start of monsoon season. Our monsoon trough is yet to establish this year, making its arrival later than any previous onset since records began in 1957-58. pic.twitter.com/ne0pMSeNBd— ParksAustralia (@Parks_Australia) March 8, 2020
The small waterfall is described by the government agency as "pristine" and one of Kakadu's "hidden gems".
It's a 7.5km return hike to Motor Car Falls where visitors are met with a plunge pool surrounded by high cliffs and tropical monsoon forest.
Mr Smith said the Yurmikimik walks including Motor Car Falls and the Kambolgie campground were closed and Gimbat Rd from the Kakadu Highway turn off.
"Our immediate concern is for the families involved, and the welfare of park staff. We're working to support all those affected as best we can," he said.
Parks Australia said the recent rainfall at Kakadu signalled the start of monsoon season.
A 32-year-old man drowned at Maguk Falls in the national park in September last year.