SES warns danger lurks at Falls

Ambulance officers treat an injured woman at Gardners Falls
Ambulance officers treat an injured woman at Gardners Falls Contributed

JUMPING off rocks at popular Maleny swimming hole Gardners Falls has become a dangerous pastime, members of the SES and the council said.

Earlier this month ambulance crews faced a tricky situation when a teenage girl fell several metres on to rocks at the hinterland swimming hole before being pulled under water.

This is a situation SES field ops member Jared Ashcroft said was happening too often.

"Unfortunately there are quite a few call-outs to these sorts of things," Mr Ashcroft said.

"The SES alone gets about four every few months and the police and ambulance gets many more than that.

"Gardners Falls is in an area where there are a lot of people coming up from the Coast and tourists who are inexperienced in the falls.

"If you slip you can fall anywhere from 10 - 30 metres, depending where you are, and you can fall directly onto jagged rocks,'' he said.

"Spinal injuries are the most common injury we see."

Division 5 councillor Jenny McKay said the council put warning signs for people swimming at the falls to ensure safety.

"It's not about not having fun, it's about being sensible and taking care," Cr McKay said.

"We appreciate people like to enjoy the falls but be careful and abide by the warning signs and don't swim if there has been poor weather because it is dangerous."

Mr Ashcroft said people who chose to swim at Gardners Falls should be cautious.

"If you do go swimming at the falls make sure you are cautious, go with friends so if something does happen you have people to call for help.

''And always check the waters before you go jumping straight in.

"If it has been flooding, just don't go in at all because it is really difficult (for rescuers) to get in to the falls in an emergency

"The vehicles need to park sometimes hundreds of metres away and rescuers walk the stretcher in and out over slippery moss and up hills which is not ideal in an emergency situation."

Although there have been numerous incidents at Gardners Falls, the council have only had one claim filed with any substance due to injury in eight years.

"But that is because most of the claims and calls go straight to the police and ambulance or the SES," Cr McKay said.

Topics:  dangerous, gardner falls, maleny, ses



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