Matthew White’s family warns of high tides in Broome after ‘fit, keen’ fisherman’s death

Glenn CordingleyThe West Australian
Matthew White drowned on a fishing trip.
Camera IconMatthew White drowned on a fishing trip. Credit: Supplied

The family of an experienced fisherman who drowned trying to escape a rising tide in Broome have warned others to beware of surging waters in the area.

Matthew White, 39, and a friend walked about 200m from the Roebuck Bay shore on the low tide early on Sunday to a fishing spot.

The pair decided to swim back to Demco beach when a rising, 8.89m tide caught them by surprise and began swirling around the rock from which they were fishing.

Mr White’s friend survived but Mr White’s body was found in the water about 1pm after an extensive search.

His Busselton family warned others to beware because Broome was recording tides of more than 9m.

VideoTwo fishermen have caught the incredible moment a crocodile caught a shark in its jaws and swam off.

“When you are that keen and you like what you are doing, it just goes to show you have to always be vigilant with the conditions and tides in Broome,” Mr White’s brother-in-law Gary Williams said.

“I don’t think that would have been the first time Matthew went fishing off that rock. He probably had done it 20 or 30 times, but you get these situations where some get unluckier than others.

“He was a relatively fit person and swimming that distance should not have been a problem. It was just a tragic accident in the wrong circumstance.”

Mr White went to Broome on holiday 10 years ago and stayed.

Mr Williams said Mr White liked all sports, especially playing with Broome social cricket team the Dirty Dozen.

“Matthew always had a smile on his face,” Mr Williams said. “He was not concerned in owning all the treasures in the world.”

The White family paid tribute to those in the search.

“Although the outcome was heartbreaking, the assistance from all parties involved provided prompt closure for the family,” Mr Williams said.

“The family are eternally grateful for your efforts and proficiency. Thank you.”

A report on the death will be prepared for the coroner.

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