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17 Dec

Woman crawled for 10 hours to safety after King Island fall

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Melissa Bee has been treated at multiple hospitals since breaking both her legs on King Island. Picture: Supplied
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A woman who crawled to safety after breaking both her legs on King Island has been praised for her “Herculean effort”.

Melissa Bee, who moved to King Island in June, said she had been walking near Grassy Dam when shefell down an eight metre slope and broke her legslast month.

Ms Bee said it took her more than 10 hours to crawl more than fivekilometres and phone for help.

She said locals had advised herthe journeywould besafe, however, once she embarked she encountered rough terrain.

“It was an extremely steep slope that just ended with about a six foot drop from the end of the slope to rock below…there was no way I could get down safely, I was trapped,” Ms Bee said.

“I was unable to reverse back up but tried to make my way off to the left, which proved disastrous.

“I grabbed a tree sapling on my right, which came out of the ground completely, sending me hurling downwards and my leg snapped in sixplaces at that point.

“As I tried to stop falling further I was not able to and helplessly slithered downwards while my left leg did the same.”

Woman crawled 10 hours to safety Supplied image: Ms Bee

Melissa Bee has been treated at multiple hospitals since breaking both her legs on King Island. Picture: Supplied

TweetFacebookMs Bee said she yelled for help as shecrawledto a pumping station where she turned on a tap in a bid to raise an alarm.

After failing to draw attention she embarked on a trek towards the Grassy port area more than two kilometres away.

“I headed off dragging myself…the best method was on hands and knees,” Ms Bee said.

“I’d count to seven or 10 or 20 before collapsing or passing out in pain.

“I was wet and cold and it eventually got dark but I kept crawling.”

Ms Bee said after walking on her hands and kneesfor about 10 hours she foundan unlocked car,pulled herself inthen found a phone which she used to dial ‘000’.

She was later taken to King Island hospital, then flown to North West Regional Hospital for further care.

After undergoing multiple surgeries in Burnie, Ms Bee was transported to Smithton District Hospital, where she expects to remain for weeks.

Tasmania Police Sergeant Steve Shawpraised Ms Bee for herbravery and endurance.

“[Ms Bee] was particularly brave and focused on her survival which was a Herculean effort,” Sergeant Shaw said.

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