Loved to make people laugh: Darren Bull. Photo: Facebook

Darren Bull, who died on Saturday in an abseiling accident in the Blue Mountains, has been remembered as a giant of a man, friendly and large-hearted, and an athletic sportsman.

Mr Bull fell from halfway down the 200-metre descent at Malaita Point, a popular Blue Mountains location that offers climbers and abseilers spectacular views from a series of large and sheer cliff-lines.

Mr Bull's girlfriend, Katherine Donohue, hung entangled in rope halfway down the cliff for more than four hours until rescued. Ms Donohue did not know Mr Bull's fate when she was rescued.

Darren Bull .   


"A big heart and a big personality": Mr Bull is remembered fondly by friends and acquaintances. Photo: Facebook

NSW National Parks say Malaita Point is suitable for inexperienced as well as experienced abseilers. The cliff drop might be 200 metres, but the descent involves a series of stages to accessible ledges. Participants are told only that they should have good fitness.

Members of Mr Bull's family were in mourning at their northern suburbs home on Sunday and declined to talk about the 34-year-old, but friends and acquaintances remembered fondly a man known to his Macquarie University Australian Football Club as ''Big Daz''.

Club secretary David Marsh said they would observe a minute's silence before the opening match of the 2014 season in Mr Bull's honour.


Mr Bull's girlfriend, Katherine Donohue, after being rescued on Saturday.

"His teammates would remember that he loved to make people laugh, and had the whole team in hysterics on a bus trip back from Wollongong one game," Mr Marsh said.

Simon Lawrenson, who played football with Mr Bull for several years, said he was a very popular athlete. "He was one of the biggest guys I've ever met,'' he said. He had a big heart and a big personality.

"But it was strange. He was quiet at the same time but once you really got him to open up he was hilarious."

Fourteen-year-old Jackie Verge attended Southwoods camp in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York where Mr Bull worked as a camp counsellor for several years.

"He actually taught me how to shoot an arrow and hit a bullseye,'' Ms Verge said in an email.

''Also he was always full of energy and excitement and always wore the most interesting shorts, haha.

"We talked so much at camp. After I read the article I was in tears."

The teenager tweeted a photo of herself and Mr Bull at camp after hearing the news of his death.

One of the first on the scene to help with Ms Donohue's rescue was NSW deputy police commissioner Catherine Burn, off duty and about to abseil down the same point before she was flagged down by Canadian tourists who had heard Ms Donohue's cries for help.

Deputy Commissioner Burn was able to pinpoint the location for rescuers using a new emergency+ app that provides accurate GPS readings.

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