June 7 (UPI) — Emergency crews rescued a South Korean backpacker on Thursday who was stuck in a rocky waterfall in an Australian ravine for a week after a fall on a mountain hike.
Police officers and soldiers found the woman, identified as Joohee Han, 25, on a rocky waterfall in a narrow ravine at Mount Tyson, in Tully, south of Cairns, ABC News Australia reported.
Han vanished Friday while hiking on Mount Tyson in far north Queensland.
“She had hiked up to the summit and had taken a few photos and she said that she had fallen from one of the main outlook areas known as Scout Rock, and from there she knocked herself out and believed she’d been unconscious for five or more hours,” Queensland Ambulance flight paramedic Hannah Gaulke told ABC News Australia.
Gaulke said Han had no food with her but found water flowing through rocks.
“When she came to, she was quite disoriented and unable to get her bearings and from then she managed to crawl and scrape her way through the bushland which was really tough terrain and eventually ended up on this slippery, rocky waterfall … She got to a point where she couldn’t actually proceed any further and she had no way to get back out and that’s where she stayed for days.”
Emergency workers passed food down to her and used a “60-foot winch” to bring her up to safety due to the difficult terrain, Gaulke said. She was taken to the hospital to be treated for dehydration and other minor injuries, but otherwise, was “in really good condition.”
A friend, Craig Strathie, told 9 News Australia “she’s very fortunate to come down in one piece,” with police initially expecting a recovery mission rather than a rescue after six cold nights.