A 25-year-old South Korean hiker is recovering in hospital after being trapped for six days at the bottom of a deep ravine in the Australian bush.
Joohee Han disappeared on Friday, June 1 after telling a friend at a hostel in the Queensland town of Tully that she was going to hike nearby Mount Tyson.
The alarm was raised when she didn’t return.
State Emergency Service (SES), the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and civilian volunteers searched for days for her whereabouts. A member of the public had heard her shouts on Saturday, but didn’t inform the police until Thursday.
Police inspector Steve Kersley told the Associated Press the search team mapped the area where the shouts had been heard and finally spotted Han Thursday afternoon.
During the hike, Han had fallen from Scout Rock lookout into bushland and was knocked unconscious, the ABC reported.
When she came to, she crawled through the bush until she reached a waterfall with running water where she stayed, unable to go further.
“She couldn’t actually proceed further and had no way to get back out,” paramedic Hannah Gaulke told the AP.
As the terrain was inaccessible by foot, rescuers used a 60-foot winch to pull her out of the ravine. She was airlifted to hospital where she is recovering, Queensland police said in a statement.
Han was relatively unscathed despite her six-day ordeal.
“She was actually in really good condition, she had no significant injuries — a number of abrasions and a few minor injuries — but otherwise she was in good spirits,” Gaulke said.
“Her chances of survival were near zero.”
Kersley agreed, telling the AP on Thursday, “Six days is a long time to be lost in the bush, particularly when you’ve got no bush skills. She’s done well to survive.”