News National French model may have died ‘taking photos’

French model may have died ‘taking photos’

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Police are investigating whether a 23-year-old French national who plunged to his death in New South Wales’ Royal National Park may have fallen while posing for photos.

Fabien Ardoin, a French student, engineer and part-time model, fell 40 metres off a cliff while hiking with his girlfriend and six other friends.

The accident occurred around 10.30am on Sunday on a section of the Coast Track near Wedding Cake Rock, a popular location for photos.

Police are treating the death as an accident and looking into whether Ardoin had been trying to take a photo when he lost balance.

“That is one line of inquiry that we are following up,” a police spokeswoman told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Friends are mourning Ardoin, who was a former rock-climbing instructor and extensive traveller.

Those who knew him have posted tributes online.

“So sad. RIP Fabien. Fate dealt you a fatal blow yesterday. God Bless you,” one person wrote on his Facebook page.

Another wrote simply: “RIP”.

High winds and rough seas impeded aerial recovery efforts on Sunday afternoon, but authorities anchored abseil lines in bedrock and were able to retrieve Mr Ardoin’s body on Sunday evening.

“About 6.30pm, officers reached the man’s body and he’s been brought to the top of the cliff face,” police said.

A report is being prepared for the coroner.