AL­LI­GA­TOR CREEK DRA­MATIC RES­CUE

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - CHAR­LIE PEEL char­lie. peel@ news. com. au

A WOMAN had to be flown out of rough ter­rain at Al­li­ga­tor Creek af­ter she fell on rocks and broke her leg while vis­it­ing the pop­u­lar swimming spot.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred about 800m from the nearby camp­grounds and it took sev­eral hours for crews to be able to take the woman to hos­pi­tal.

Queens­land Am­bu­lance Ser­vice of­fi­cers re­ceived the call for help shortly be­fore noon yesterday.

But due to the re­mote­ness of the lo­ca­tion they called Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices for as­sis­tance in car­ry­ing the 52- year- old woman to safety.

The steep sides of the creek, thick bush­land and slip­pery rocks made mov­ing over the ter­rain dif­fi­cult.

It took sev­eral of­fi­cers nearly half an hour to stretcher the woman to open ground.

She was alert and con­scious through­out the painful or­deal and re­quired an um­brella to keep her shielded from the harsh sun.

A he­li­copter was called in af­ter it was deemed too dan­ger­ous for res­cue of­fi­cers to pro­ceed with car­ry­ing the woman.

The Queens­land Gov­ern­ment Air Res­cue He­li­copter crew was called at 3.10pm and ar­rived on the scene about 4pm.

A doc­tor and air­man were low­ered down to as­sess the woman be­fore she was winched into the he­li­copter.

She was taken to Townsville Hos­pi­tal in a sta­ble con­di­tion.

A QGARH of­fi­cer said the res­cue was car­ried out in fine con­di­tions and ground crews did a good job of mov­ing the woman to an ac­ces­si­ble lo­ca­tion.

It is be­lieved the per­son who phoned triple- 0 had to walk some dis­tance due to the lack of re­cep­tion at the swimming hole.

A QAS spokes­woman said a he­li­copter was not nor­mally used for an in­ci­dent in­volv­ing bro­ken bones, but the re­mote­ness of the lo­ca­tion and ac­cess dif­fi­cul­ties meant it was nec­es­sary for of­fi­cer safety and to pre­vent fur­ther in­jury to the pa­tient.

In May, a woman was res­cued af­ter she was lost in bush­land at Al­li­ga­tor Creek for nearly 12 hours af­ter she be­came dis­ori­ented.

Pic­tures: ZAK SIM­MONDS

TOUGH TER­RAIN: A women is car­ried on a stretcher af­ter break­ing her leg at Al­li­ga­tor Creek. She was later flown to hos­pi­tal by he­li­copter ( inset).

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