LUCKY ESCAPE: Meagan Dempster has relived her incredible rescue after she slipped and fell onto a cliff face while backpacking at Springsure on Sunday.
LUCKY ESCAPE: Meagan Dempster has relived her incredible rescue after she slipped and fell onto a cliff face while backpacking at Springsure on Sunday. Contributed

Woman plucked from cliff face after fall at Springsure

STUCK on the side of a cliff, freezing and alone, her phone battery run down, Meagan Dempster was not sure whether her call for help had been heard, or if anyone was coming at all.

Meagan had an adventure that she had not planned for on Sunday, stranded on a tiny cliff face after she slipped while bushwalking at Springsure.

She said going out camping overnight alone to "sleep under the stars" was "to push" herself after moving to the region only four weeks ago.

"I had a really big backpack which had everything in it... I don't know how, but it fell," she said.

"So I've... slipped and crashed into a little bush that was hanging on the edge and that's the only thing that stopped me from falling over."

A member of the vertical rescue team is lowered to Meagan’s precarious position.
A member of the vertical rescue team is lowered to Meagan’s precarious position. Contributed

After remaining perched on a tiny ledge for about seven hours, clinging to a tree and unable to move more than a couple of inches, Meagan said she had no plans to become trapped on a cliff again.

"Once was definitely enough," she said.

"They came down, the vertical rescue team; they couldn't get someone down and then bring me back up.

"After - I think it was like five to six hours - they got someone down and harnessed me to a safety line and then he continued down to the bottom.

"When they first got there and did their initial assessment, they were worried because of how small the ledge was that I was sitting on, (and) that the chopper would blow me off."

First on the scene was ranger Darryl Black.

"Thanks not only to all of the separate rescue crews, but also to Darryl Black and his girlfriend Sally," she said.

"They were first to arrive and locate me from the ground and were very comforting and reassuring. We even had a couple of laughs, which was pretty awesome considering I was stuck up a cliff 30m above them.

"(Darryl) said like, right where I was, is the last bit that you could have ever really stopped at because the rest is just a sheer drop-off."

Getting Meagan off the cliff was not an easy task for the emergency services and SES crew, who took hours trying to safely get to her. They worked around the loose rocks amid concerns she could fall at any time.

Meagan said she could not properly express her gratitude to the men and women who rescued her.

"I am in awe of their capabilities and skills and ability to remain reassuring and calm while risking their life to help someone," she said.



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