Safe enough? 25-year-old injured in Karijini cliff fall

Published: July 14, 2016

The potential perils of exploring the Australian wilderness have once again been highlighted by a frightening accident in Western Australia’s Karijini National Park.

A 25-year-old man fell 2-3 metres down a cliff face at Joffre Gorge and suffered head injuries and a broken arm. The man was in a difficult to reach position and emergency crews had to undertake a vertical lift to retrieve him. A rescue worker went down the cliff with a stretcher to reach the victim. St John Ambulance personnel provided initial first aid before WA Police and SES volunteers worked together to lift him back to safety.

The injured man was taken to Tom Price Hospital for treatment.

Further details of the circumstances surrounding the accident are not known.

While the numbers of visitors in these remote national parks continues to climb, grey nomads and other travellers are being warned not to let the crowds disguise the fact that they remain potentially perilous wilderness areas … and that the odd bit of fencing and signage does not make them safe.

A couple of year ago, a Taiwanese tourist broke her collarbone and sustained spinal injuries when she fell at Joffre Gorge. Just weeks later, a German tourist suffered for back and head injuries and had to be rescued after falling five metres down a rocky gorge in Karijini. She had been climbing down rocks to access a walking trail between Fortescue Falls and Circular Pool in Dales Gorge when she slipped and fell.

  • Can – and should – anything more be done to make our ‘popular’ wilderness areas safer? Comment below.


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Louise sims
5 years ago

Tourists must be made aware of the perils of walking into these gorges – I have travelled to Karijine in a group with a bus driver – We walked into the river and waterfalls for a swim – to be told that the principal of the local school died of a broken neck after falling off the side of the pathway that we were negotiating. Even then there were no fences or guardrails – we must be made aware of the perils – for better safety and less incidents.

Tom Griffiths
5 years ago

I just don’t get it. Do people put their hand in the fire to see if it’s hot?
Do people try to walk across a busy road without looking for traffic?
I doubt if Blind Freddy was among the very few injured over the years, the % of injuries compared with number of visitors is about what one would expect, because no matter what is done to protect them some people will still get hurt, mainly through their own fault.
How about a bit of, take responsibility for your own safety.


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