Australian officials announced the successful rescue of a South Korean backpacker on Thursday after horrifically falling from a mountain and spending six nights stranded in steep wilderness. When rescuers got to the backpacker, she was suffering from dehydration and exposure but was relatively unscathed.
The South Korean tourist has been identified as 25-year-old Joohee Han. Before her rescue, she was last seen in the town of Tully in tropical Queensland state on Thursday last week. She informed a friend that she was going for a walk at nearby Mount Tyson in a national park.
Han climbed to the top of the mountain and took photographs of the view but slipped and fell unconscious for hours.
Queensland Ambulance Services flight paramedic Hannah Gaulke said Han managed to crawl and scrape her way through the bushland, which was really a tough terrain.
Han, however, got stuck after reaching a rocky waterfall. Gaulke said there was no way she could proceed further and had no way to get back out. She waited for six days before being reached by rescuers.
She had gone missing for five days before her friends contacted the authorities.
Han tried to shout for help from where she got stranded, and a member of the public heard her screams on Saturday. However, the person only informed police about it on Thursday after learning about the search.
Soldiers and police had to cut through dense forest to reach her on Thursday. Police Inspector Steve Kersley praised Han’s resilience. He said: “Six days is a long time to be lost in the bush, particularly when you’ve got no bush skill. She’s done well to survive.”
Han was brought to a hospital in Tully by a helicopter for treatment.
It is not clear yet what adjustments the national park administrators will make to avoid similar accidents from happening.