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Hiker Who Slipped Down Waterfall Rescued After Carrying His Broken Leg For Two Days

Hiker Who Slipped Down Waterfall Rescued After Carrying His Broken Leg For Two Days

A hiker who fell down a waterfall and snapped his leg in half has been rescued after 'carrying' it for two days.

Neil Parker was walking at Cabbage Tree Creek, near Brisbane, Australia, on Sunday when he slipped and fell around 20ft.

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The fall left Mr Parker's leg 'clean snapped in half' and fractured his wrist. To make his chances of rescue slimmer still, the 54-year-old then dropped his phone in the water.

"I climbed the waterfall many times before, and this time, with it being so dry and the lime on the rock, instead of sticking, slipped and gave way," Mr Parker said from his hospital bed.

"I caught myself the first time as I started to slide, but I had too much momentum and over I went. I was climbing up, so I started looking down and I started sliding down the face of the rock. And I slid about 20ft, cartwheeled and slammed into the rock and then landed in the creek on the bottom.

"I thought, if anyone is going to raise the alarm, I have to scramble back out of the rocks to get out of here. I went to put my phone into my pocket and missed and it fell into the drink - now my phone is gone."

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With the odds stacked against him, the experienced hiking guide set about developing a self rescue plan.

"First thing I thought was I'm not going to die out here, I'm going to live," he said.

Mr Parker had to crawl for two days 'carrying' his broken leg. Credit: AP
Mr Parker had to crawl for two days 'carrying' his broken leg. Credit: AP

Mr Parker had planned a three-hour hike and he used the first aid kit he had brought with him to fashion a splint for his leg out of bandages and hiking sticks. He also had painkillers but only a small amount of nuts and sweets to eat across the course of his two-day crawl.

But while Mr Parker was determined to survive, he never expected it to take him so long to reach a clearing.

He said: "I'd get about a metre, a metre-and-a-half, each time before I had to stop and take a break.

"I just couldn't believe it. It's only 3km [2 miles] but [it took] two days to cover. I was thinking that I was never going to get there.

"I had to carry my leg - and legs are very heavy when they're not connected to anything - and [I was] trying to pick it up and get over rock and then use this elbow and this arm and just constantly struggling."

Mr Parker was winched to safety after two days. Credit: AP
Mr Parker was winched to safety after two days. Credit: AP

Eventually, Mr Parker was spotted by a helicopter and was winched to safety on Tuesday. He is now being treated at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane and faces at least eight weeks of recovery.

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Nicola Ward, told ABC: "I've never heard of any such survival effort with two broken limbs... he's done extremely well.

"Essentially, with an ankle fracture like he's got, the limb is a deadweight and useless, you can't walk on it, you can't put weight through it and you need to drag it and similarly with the wrist."

Featured Image Credit: AP

Topics: World News, Inspirational, Australia

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.

 

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