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Australian Hiker Falls 20-ft from Waterfall, Crawls with Broken Limb for Two Days

Neil Parker had painkillers and water on him but he did not have adequate food.

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Updated:September 19, 2019, 2:36 PM IST
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Australian Hiker Falls 20-ft from Waterfall, Crawls with Broken Limb for Two Days
Image credit: AP

An Australian hiker crawled for two days with a broken leg after falling from 6 m (20 feet) from a waterfall during a solo mountain trek in Mount Nebo, northwest of Brisbane. The hiker, 54-year-old Neil Parker, was bushwalking alone on Sunday when he slipped, leaving his wrist broken and lower leg "clean snapped in half".

Neil Parker lost his phone in the accident. An experienced bushwalker, he took bandages from his first aid supplies and combined them with hiking sticks to splint his leg, and managed to crawl with the grave injuries for two days.

Neil Parker had painkillers and water on him, but he did not have adequate food, just a few nuts, sweets and an energy bar.

Parker was on a three-hour hike at Mount Nebo when rocks under his feet gave away and he tumbled down the waterfall.

"I slid about 20 feet, cartwheeled and slammed into the rock and then landed in the creek on the bottom," recalled Parker as he spoke with reporters from his hospital bed. "And I thought, 'the only way to get rescued is self-rescue,'" he added.

Parker further said, “My left foot just below my ankle, clean snapped in half. The whole bottom of my leg came loose.”

The Brisbane Bushwalker community launched a search operation after Parker became incommunicado. A helicopter finally spotted him and rescued him after two days.

Parker said: “I'd get about a meter, a meter-and-a-half, each time before I had to stop and take a break.”

“I just couldn't believe it. It's only 3km but (it took) two days to cover 3km. I was thinking that I was never going to get there,” he added.

After being spotted by the rescue crew, Parker was tied to a stretcher and winched on board and flown to a hospital. The footage of the rescue was shared on Facebook by Queensland Government Air.

Parker recalled, "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."

He said he got the thought of his family gave him the mental strength to keep going, saying: "I wanted to be around for my kids."

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