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Graffiti deaths spark call for probe into 'Cave Clan' group

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An inquest into the deaths of two graffiti vandals in a stormwater drain, has recommended police shut down a thrill seeking website which encouraged them.

Three vandals heard a massive boom like an earthquake about an hour after they entered a stormwater drain at Lurline Bay, near Maroubra, in January 2008.

Michael Mainowski, 27, said the trio were drinking alcohol and spraying graffiti when they heard the crash and the rush of approaching water.

They became terrified and disoriented by the sound, seconds later they were hit by a wall of water.

Holly Legge, 21, and Dwaine Larosa, 25, drowned in the torrent. Miraculously Mr Malinowski Bay, where he was rescued by locals on surfboards.

The inquest heard Mr Malinowsky was encouraged by a website from the so-called 'Cave Clan' - a group which dares people to explore urban underground spaces.

Coroner Hugh Dillon has recommended the police investigate the Cave Clan and shut down its website - which publicised the location of the drain and encouraged thrill seeking - saying he was concerned about the group's counter-cultural message.

He also called for police patrols of stormwater drain entrances and for Sydney Water to provide more prominent warnings about the dangers of flash floods underground.

Meanwhile NSW Premier Nathan Rees has issued a warning to graffiti vandals, stopping trains to spray their tags on carriages.
 
Youths are deliberately jamming signal trip arms with rocks and other objects so they have a chance to graffiti stationary trains.
 
Mr Rees says the message to vandals is clear.

"This isn't a victimless crime. When someone performs graffiti, when someone vandalises public space it costs money to clean up and it affects the amenity of where people live," he said.

"I'm fed up with it, the community is fed up with it. The message is simple: if you mess up, you'll clean up."

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