That was the headline on the five o’clock news tonight and it isn’t something that you hear every day.
When the actual news item was covered in full, I find out that it was from an abseiling accident. Next up they mention that it happened on Mount Tinbeerwah, followed by it being a 27 year old male and that he was from Toowoomba. All of these things start to hit a little close to home as a bunch of my friends regularly go hiking and abseiling in that neck of the woods. When the video footage starts rolling, who do I see laying flat on his back being winched into a helicopter other than one of my best friends.
After talking to another mate on the phone tonight, I find out that Anthony was abseiling down a 100m face on the mountain at pace. What he didn’t realise was that there was a branch of some sort sticking out from the cliff face that he couldn’t see coming and at great pace, he essentially ‘sat’ onto the branch. The branch was approximately an inch thick and it entered him through the groin and exited through his stomach. Incredibly, Anthony says he didn’t realise exactly what had happened at this point and could feel the stick in his pants but didn’t think anything of it – so he continued to abseil the next 50m to the base of the cliff face!
Nearly as soon as it happened, thanks to the miracle of modern technology – they were talking to him at the base of the cliff face and called through to 000 for assistance. In a very short amount of time, the emergency services were on scene and providing first aid while the Energex Rescue Helicopter was en route.
Anthony was flown to Nambour Hospital where he underwent various scans and ultimately surgery. At this stage, we’re told that while it was very serious it looks as though he might have escaped relatively unscathed.
After going into surgery yesterday afternoon, Nambour Hospital have confirmed that the surgery was successful. The branch has been removed and in an amazing act of good fortune, it has missed all vital organs as it passed through his body. To my surprise, he is already up and about but will remain in hospital for a couple of days for monitoring, to make sure that no infection takes place. I think a lottery ticket or three are in order.
- http://www.abc.net.au: Man impaled on tree in abseiling accident
- http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au: Abseiler impaled on tree
- http://www.news.com.au: Abseiler impaled on tree branch
- http://www.smh.com.au: Man impaled on tree
- http://www.theage.com.au: Man impaled on tree in abseiling mishap
- http://www.thedaily.com.au: Abseiler survives impaling, Impaled and lucky be alive
- Courier Mail: 1, 2