Tannum man's death planking related

A GLADSTONE man has been killed after planking from a balcony in Brisbane.

Police said Tannum Sands man Acton Beale, 20, plunged while planking from the seventh floor of a unit block in the inner suburb of Kangaroo Point shortly before 4.30am Sunday morning.

Details are still sketchy as to exactly how Mr Beale plummeted several stories from the unit; however his Facebook page and the Australian Planking Facebook page pay tribute to him as a man who died planking.

“R.I.P Fellow planker,” one posting on the Australian Planking page said.

“ I didn't know him, but he was a planker like the rest of us.”

Another posting from friends of the young man said, “You will never be forgotten. It was hard news and I must add although you had fun doing what you died doing, it is a load of crap.”

Following the tragic death police are urging ‘plankers’ to re-think their actions.

“This morning we have seen a young man take this activity a step further and attempt to plank on a balcony. Unfortunately he has tragically fallen to his death,” Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett said.

“Police fear that as planking gains popularity there may be more injuries and potentially further deaths.”

Police are warning members of the public that planking may seem like a bit of light-hearted fun but it can quickly turn to tragedy if an accident occurs.

“Accepting a risk of injury for yourself is one thing, but the potential is there for others to be injured as a result of your behaviour.”

Police said emergency services attempted to revive the man at the scene, however, he died a short time afterward.

Planking has become an international sensation after a man was arrested last week in Gladstone for planking on the boot of a police car. On the weekend a news reader for Fox News in Denver United States planked the news room desk and a cheer leading squad in Pennsylvania were also filmed planking.

For those who are unaware of the planking phenomenon, it is defined as, “the art of laying face-down on various objects with the intent to impress aesthetically and overshadow peers.”

In other words, planking is when people climb up onto random objects and try to look as much like a plank as possible. This is then photographed and shared with other plankers.

Gladstone police last week warned that the risks some people are taking to plank could result in injury.

“The activity is potentially dangerous, as proponents of the movement try to out-do each other by planking on structures and in precarious positions, putting themselves and others at risk of harm,” Sergeant Matthew Russell from Gladstone Police said.

Offenders caught in these dangerous situations can also be charged with Unauthorised High Risk Activity and plankers can also be charged with a criminal offence if they attempt the activity in areas that constitute trespass or in dangerous locations.

Deputy Commissioner Barnett said police will not tolerate people putting lives at risk, whether their own or other innocent bystanders.

“But no penalty will ever return this young man to his family and friends. This is a tragedy and our condolences go to the family.”

Police said investigations into the incident are continuing.



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