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Clubs lethal water trap

CLIFF JONES' shocking death in Ocean Shores is not the first time someone has died in the lake at the golf course.

Shane Moyes, 16, died after a Christmas party at the Ocean Shores Country Club in December 2001.

Shane was a chef at the club and was served alcohol at the party.

Later in the evening he was the passenger in a car which crashed into a lake on the golf course.

A coroner's report from the time said he had been struck on the head in the accident and had drowned.

The coroner terminated the investigation when a criminal matter arose from the incident.

The driver, Jenghis Connolly, also an employee of the club, was found guilty of dangerous driving causing death and sent to prison for three years.

The club and its secretary manager, Tod Martin, faced charges related to the supply of liquor to minors and permitting intoxication on the club premises.

The club was fined a total of $229,700 in the Licensing Court, although the amount was reduced on appeal.

One person close to the hearing said access to the course was a major issue that arose during the Licensing Court proceedings. There was a huge array of entrances to the course, she said.

The easy access to the water on the course was a factor in both Shane and Cliff Jones' deaths.

Cliff was mowing a strip of land belonging to the golf course that runs behind private properties in Coonawarra St, whose lawns he also looks after, when the mower tipped into the water.

It has become a matter of custom that the golf course's land is cared for by the local landowners - a practice that has been going on for many years.

Private property owners have done more than just mow the club's land, to the point of removing trees and weeds from the metres-wide strip adjacent to their land.

But some locals are concerned that children are at risk from the exposure to the water. One, who asked not to be named, wondered if the country club had responded adequately to Shane's death to make the course safer.

The country club did not return the BSN's calls.

Meanwhile, Cliff Jones' family is reeling from the sudden death of the man everyone saw as "bulletproof".

And the family whose property Cliff was attending to at the time are also in deep mourning.

"It was one of the saddest things you could imagine. He was the nicest man and we are deeply upset by the tragedy," they said.


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