Perth woman thanks ‘incredible’ rescuers

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser

A woman who had to be airlifted off the Bald Head trail after fracturing her ankle has thanked emergency services who came to her aid in a daring rescue.

For 23-year-old Lauren Lazarides, a trek in the Torndirrup National Park took an unexpected turn on Monday when she was airlifted by the RAC chopper to the Albany Health Campus.

The Perth woman said she was nearly two hours into the popular trail with her boyfriend and his family when she slipped and fell injuring her ankle.

“It was my first time in Albany and doing the walk is something I’ve always wanted to achieve; I’ve been looking forward to it for over six months,” she said.

Ms Lazarides said she knew the injury was bad and began to worry how she would get out.

“When I fell, I heard a crack so I knew it was some sort of damage to the bone, I was upset and I was in shock,” she said.

“At first, I tried to hobble my way back, but couldn’t put any weight on it at all, then a lovely family came along about 10 minutes after and strapped my ankle for me.

“It provided me with extra support but there was no way I could hop back. My boyfriend and his brother tried carrying me but it was way too far, steep and unsteady — we didn't want anyone else to get injured so that’s when we knew we had to call for help.

SES workers carry Lauren Lazarides on a stretcher.
Camera IconSES workers carry Lauren Lazarides on a stretcher. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Ms Lazarides said the ambulance officers were the first three on the scene, adding they were incredible.

“They supported my ankle with ice and a pillow and gave me pain relief straight away and were constantly asking how I was, how my pain was and if I was OK,” she said.

“The SES rescuers arrived shortly after. They were amazing and carried me about 400m in the stretcher to a safe spot where the helicopter would be able to pick me up, which wasn’t easy as the path was uphill, narrow and unstable.”

Ms Lazarides said the rescuer who hoisted her into the helicopter was very reassuring.

“I was scared to get winched up into the helicopter but he was so calm and explained exactly what was going to happen and even made sure my ankle wasn’t going to hit the helicopter on the way in which was difficult as it was extremely windy,” she said.

“I’d just like to thank the paramedics, SES rescuers and chopper rescuers for all of your help. You were all incredible and I definitely wouldn’t have made it back without all of your help.”

Ms Lazarides said the trail itself was incredible and encouraged others to take all precautions including bandages, straps and correct footwear.

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