Emergency responders pull off challenging rescue after injury on Bluff Knoll

Campbell WilliamsonAlbany Advertiser
Albany Volunteer State Emergency Service respond to the incident.
Camera IconAlbany Volunteer State Emergency Service respond to the incident.

Emergency responders have pulled off a challenging rescue at Bluff Knoll, spending more than four hours bringing an injured woman down from the summit.

SES volunteers were called out to the mountain on Tuesday afternoon to help a 37-year old woman who was stuck at the peak with a suspected fractured ankle.

The RAC rescue helicopter was called in but poor visibility made a helicopter retrieval unviable.

About 20 people made the journey up Bluff Knoll, carrying the injured woman back down on a stretcher.

Gnowangerup SES manager Les Nayda said the woman was upbeat when she arrived back at the carpark.

“She was OK, she was in good spirits, she was warmly dressed. It was just one of those unfortunate things,” he said. “It was just a very well run team effort by emergency services and we got the lady down successfully.”

Mr Nayda served as SES search commander for the incident, coordinating the rescue team’s effort from the bottom of the mountain.

He said that carrying someone down the mountain on a stretcher was a difficult job and he wanted to thank everybody who helped make the rescue a success. “It is a very, very difficult job especially at night time when it’s dark and cold and quite challenging,” he said. “We were fortunate we had plenty of people there. I think from memory we had about 20-odd ... and that was enough to get the job done.

Albany Volunteer State Emergency Service respond to the incident.
Camera IconAlbany Volunteer State Emergency Service respond to the incident.

“I would like to personally thank everybody that was there, all agencies. The police, St John ambulance, the fire and rescue guys, all of the SES crews. Everybody worked together to get a very difficult job done successfully.”

The peak of Bluff Knoll rises 1099m above sea level.

The mountain’s popularity has reached new heights since the rebuilt trail was reopened in May last year.

Sections of the previous trail were damaged by a fire in late 2019 and early 2020.

Albany Volunteer State Emergency Service respond to the incident.
Camera IconAlbany Volunteer State Emergency Service respond to the incident.

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