- The Guardian/Queensland Government/Business Insider
- An Australian man said he had to crawl for two days with his leg “snapped in half” after he fell down a waterfall while walking in the Australian wilderness.
- Neil Parker said he had to “carry” his broken leg after he fell and damaged his phone in dense bush on Sunday, and knew he had to get to a clearing in order to be seen and rescued.
- Parker said that he had to travel by “scrambling and lifting, inch-by-inch.”
- “What took me 40 minutes to walk up took me nearly two days to crawl back down,” he added.
- Parker was spotted by a helicopter on Tuesday, and brought to hospital, where he was told he had a fractured wrist and leg.
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An Australian man said he had to “carry” his leg for two days as he crawled through the wilderness to try and get to safety after it “snapped in half” when he fell down a waterfall.
Neil Parker, 54, said that he managed to survive his fall and get eventually get rescued after “the whole bottom of my leg came loose,” The Guardian reported.
He said from his hospital bed on Wednesday that he fell six meters (20 feet) down a waterfall while walking by himself near the city of Brisbane.
“I started looking down and just started sliding down the face of the rock,” he told reporters. He said he “cartwheeled and slammed into the rock and then landed in the creek at the bottom.”
You can see Parker speaking from hospital in footage from Australia’s 7 News here:
A Brisbane man is lucky to be alive after falling 6 metres down a waterfall and spending 2 nights stranded in the bush. Neil Parker has shared his incredible tale of survival, crawling through the bush with a fractured leg, after what was meant to be a short bushwalk. @G_Chumbley pic.twitter.com/CQOM8f7tOZ
— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) September 18, 2019
“Straight away, I thought: ‘I’m now in a lot of trouble because no-one knows where I am,'” he said, New Zealand outlet Stuff reported.
He said he tried to call for help but dropped his phone into the water, and so he decided to try and crawl to a clearing where he thought he would be more likely to be seen by a passing helicopter and rescued.
He had been walking in Cabbage Tree Creek, north-west of Brisbane, on Sunday, and had to crawl three kilometers (1.9 miles) over two days to reach a suitable spot.
Parker said that he had to travel by “scrambling and lifting, inch-by-inch.”
- 7 News
“I could only get a meter or a meter-and-a-half each time before I had to stop, he said, according to the BBC.
“What took me 40 minutes to walk up took me nearly two days to crawl back down,” he said.
Parker said he had just a “handful of nuts, a protein bar and some lollies” and some painkillers with him. He tried to make a splint for his leg with his hiking sticks – a step that worked, but caused so much pain that he hallucinated.
He was spotted by a search and rescue helicopter on Tuesday, two days later, and brought to Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra hospital, where he learned the extent of his injuries.
“My left foot just below my ankle, clean snapped in half, ending up with a fractured leg and wrist.”
- 7 News
“It’s not a compound fracture. Close to it. It didn’t break the skin but I have what’s called compound blisters on my skin which are eight or nine inches long … I had to carry my leg, and legs are very heavy when they’re not connected to anything,” he said.
The video below shows Parker’s rescue:
Neil Parker fractured his leg and wrist when he fell down a waterfall hiking at Mt Nebo on Sunday, before a rescue helicopter finally spotted him on Tuesday afternoon. He was winched to safety and taken to Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital, where he spent the night. #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/RPuLfw0uS8
— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) September 18, 2019
Parker is a member of a local walking group, the Brisbane Bushwalkers, which launched a search party for him on Monday, according to The Guardian.
The president of the group called Parker a “very competent and capable bushwalker,” but Parker said he was left in the “worst-possible scenario” as he had not told anyone where he was going.
He said that what kept him going was his desire to see his family, including his children, his sister, and his ex-wife.
He became emotional in his interview from the hospital, where he said that his son, who is based in New Zealand, was flying in to see him.
“I have been disassociated with him for the last two years, so I only just came back together with him four or five weeks ago.”
“That was the main reason, I wanted to get home to my kids.”