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Annika Ferry's best friend Bec Bennett returns to North Head scene of tragedy

The best friend of a talented student who died when a WWII bunker collapsed on her as she posed for a photo has returned to the site of the tragedy exactly one week on.

Annika Ferry, 21, was killed when part of the concrete bunker broke off as she posed for photos while on a sunrise walk with best friend Bec Bennett on June 24.

Ms Ferry’s family and friends gathered together near her home in Balgowlah over the weekend to ‘tell stories’ about the intelligent outdoors lover.

On Wednesday morning Ms Bennett made the same fateful trek she and Ms Ferry had made seven days prior – intent on enjoying the sunrise, just as they had planned.

Bec Bennett, the best friend of Annika Ferry, has returned to the scene of her tragic death one week on. The 21-year-old posted this video online of her looking at the sunrise over the ocean

Bec Bennett, the best friend of Annika Ferry, has returned to the scene of her tragic death one week on. The 21-year-old posted this video online of her looking at the sunrise over the ocean

Ms Ferry, 21, (pictured) reportedly grabbed onto the roof of a concrete WWII bunker and posed for a photo when part of the structure collapsed, hitting her on the head. She died instantly

Ms Ferry, 21, (pictured) reportedly grabbed onto the roof of a concrete WWII bunker and posed for a photo when part of the structure collapsed, hitting her on the head. She died instantly

Ms Ferry (left) and Ms Bennett (right) had trekked to the popular selfie spot when the incident occurred. The 21-year-olds were outdoor lovers and regularly ventured to remote parts of NSW

Ms Ferry (left) and Ms Bennett (right) had trekked to the popular selfie spot when the incident occurred. The 21-year-olds were outdoor lovers and regularly ventured to remote parts of NSW

Undeterred by the temporary fence around the WWII bunker, Ms Bennett and friends climbed into the area at North Head to lay flowers.

Ms Bennett – a star athlete who has represented Australia – blew bubbles and smiled as she looked out over the ocean.

Metres in front of her, others sat and watched the sun as it rose out of the ocean. 

A week earlier Ms Ferry had playfully hung from the concrete roof of the bunker and posed for photos when it gave way.

Police are now investigating whether she died as a result of the fall, or the impact of the WWII structure collapsing on top of her.

With her family desperate for answers, the tragedy has now been handed over to the NSW state coroner. 

While investigations continue, the local northern beaches council has fenced off the bunkers, which are a popular spot for people to watch the sunrise and take selfies. 

Despite the horror she experienced first hand, Ms Bennett organised a memorial for her friend on Sunday with dozens uniting together to commemorate Ms Ferry’s life.

In a quirky post that typified her best friend, Ms Bennett encouraged those attending to ‘tell me stories of how you met her’ and offered to answer any questions, ‘in good time’.

There are several World War II bunkers located along Sydney's north head, designed to protect from a potential Japanese invasion

There are several World War II bunkers located along Sydney’s north head, designed to protect from a potential Japanese invasion

Undeterred by the temporary fence around the WWII bunker, Ms Bennett and friends climbed into the area at North Head to lay flowers

Undeterred by the temporary fence around the WWII bunker, Ms Bennett and friends climbed into the area at North Head to lay flowers

The two 21-year-olds had trekked through bush to watch the sunrise from the popular vantage point at North Head when a piece of concrete on a WWII bunker gave way and hit Ms Ferry on the head (She is pictured with Ms Bennett)

The two 21-year-olds had trekked through bush to watch the sunrise from the popular vantage point at North Head when a piece of concrete on a WWII bunker gave way and hit Ms Ferry on the head (She is pictured with Ms Bennett) 

Ms Ferry's heartbroken family and friends gathered arm-in-arm at sunset on Sunday as part of a memorial to the talented student

Ms Ferry’s heartbroken family and friends gathered arm-in-arm at sunset on Sunday as part of a memorial to the talented student

The memorial was organised by Bec Bennett, Ms Ferry's best friend who she was hiking with at the time of the tragedy. In a quirky post that typified her friend, she encouraged attendees to 'tell me stories of how you met her'

The memorial was organised by Bec Bennett, Ms Ferry’s best friend who she was hiking with at the time of the tragedy. In a quirky post that typified her friend, she encouraged attendees to ‘tell me stories of how you met her’

‘Let’s have a cuddle, a cry, a boogie, a flop, a gallop, a yell, a handstand, goddamit bring a kite. Let’s fly a kite,’ Ms Bennett wrote.

‘Get there as early as you’d like and stay as long as you need but Ill get there around 3:30 and at around 4:50 we’re all going to hop in a circle as the sun sets.

‘Anyone is welcome to join, we’ll explain as we go and in the centre of the circle we’ll have a big photo of Anni and flowers. So many flowers. And absolutely anything else you’d like to add.

‘Wear as much colour as possible. Or something you wore with Anni that time. Lots of yellows and oranges. She’ll love that.’ 

Ms Ferry’s father Jim, a renowned northern beaches doctor, said his daughter would have liked the ‘Anni type get together’.   

Ms Ferry's father Jim last week shared tragic photos of the engineering student, 21, posing at a concrete WWII bunker just moments before she died

Ms Ferry’s father Jim last week shared tragic photos of the engineering student, 21, posing at a concrete WWII bunker just moments before she died

Ms Ferry was a keen outdoors lover and regularly went on hikes or camping trips with friends

Ms Ferry was a keen outdoors lover and regularly went on hikes or camping trips with friends

The road leading towards the remote tracks has now been closed off as local council engineers perform checks on the safety of the bunkers

The road leading towards the remote tracks has now been closed off as local council engineers perform checks on the safety of the bunkers

Dr Ferry, a renowned Manly obstetrician, said the two friends set out at 5.30am to walk through the popular, but rugged, section of Sydney Harbour National Park.

‘Annika wasn’t doing anything stupid. She was being her adventurous and joyful self. Annika loved sunrises,’ he told the Manly Daily.  

‘I wanted people to see the photographs of Annika at North Head to show the joy she was feeling watching that beautiful sunrise.’ 

Dr Ferry said his daughter, a former student at the Queenwood School at Mosman, was an avid traveller who had a passion for the environment. 

‘She was into climbing and running. She played a lot of tennis. She played soccer. She just loved life. Light sparkled from her,’ he said.  

Ms Ferry's family was well known among the northern beaches community, with her father Dr James Gerry a renowned obstetrician. Annika is pictured with her father and brothers Anton (left) and Christian (right)

Ms Ferry’s family was well known among the northern beaches community, with her father Dr James Gerry a renowned obstetrician. Annika is pictured with her father and brothers Anton (left) and Christian (right)

Ms Ferry (pictured with her dad) had been studying engineering at the University of New South Wales after graduating from Queenwood School for Girls in Mosman. She visited Antarctica with her father last year

Ms Ferry (pictured with her dad) had been studying engineering at the University of New South Wales after graduating from Queenwood School for Girls in Mosman. She visited Antarctica with her father last year

The remote location of the bunkers, nestled among dense bush, meant the Westpac Rescue Helicopter was required to assist.

The road leading towards the remote tracks has now been closed off as local council engineers perform checks on the safety of the bunkers.

Ms Ferry was a Dean’s Honour List recipient at the University of New South Wales in 2019 for her work studying renewable energy engineering. 

She and Ms Bennett – who represented Australia at the IAAF World Championships in 2019 and hopes to compete at the Olympics one day – had trekked through dense bushland in a bid to reach the spot for the perfect sunrise photo.

The friends loved the great outdoors and had documented several of their recent travels on social media.

Paramedics walked hundreds of metres through the bush to reach Ms Ferry, but by the time they arrived it was too late to save her. 

Northern Beaches acting inspector Stuart Byrnes said the 'inhospitable' terrain around the North Head area had made it difficult for police to reach Ms Ferry and Ms Bennett

Northern Beaches acting inspector Stuart Byrnes said the ‘inhospitable’ terrain around the North Head area had made it difficult for police to reach Ms Ferry and Ms Bennett

Harrowing footage from the scene showed a distraught Ms Bennett clutching onto paramedics as she was taken to hospital, where she was treated for shock. 

NSW Police acting inspector Stuart Byrnes admitted the death was a ‘sad accident’.

‘There was only two people there, and one of them has gone to hospital in shock, we’re still trying to get to the bottom to the lead-up of it all,’ he told reporters.

‘We believe it was a very sad accident and our thoughts go out to the family, but it’s the subject of an investigation at the moment.’ 

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Written by Angle News

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