Adult breaks leg on flying fox

Rescuers had a difficult time getting to a Wellington man who broke a leg on a flying fox strung across a steep gully on his Makara property late this afternoon.

Graham Jelley, 43, crashed into a platform at the end of a 50m cable strung across a steep forest gully just near the summit of Makara Rd about 4.30pm.

KPMG Wellington Free Ambulance rescue squad paramedic Graeme Quinn said the first people on the scene had to scramble across a 20m deep gully to get to the platform.

Jelley was given pain relief and put into a rescue basket. They then had to hoist him back across the gully on the flying fox before they could get him into an ambulance. All up it took about 90 minutes.

Ambulance staff were assisted by the Porirua-based Fire Service high-angle rescue unit.

Jelley’s wife, Amanda, said the flying fox had been put in to get timber across the gully so they could build a playground.

‘‘Normally he is belts and braces for safety and because things had gone across so slowly in the past he didn’t expect it to be as quick as it was.''

It was his first time on it.

‘‘He zoomed across,  hit the platform, broke his leg and was stuck on the platform two metres up the tree.''

Amanda Jelley said she had to run down the gully and across a small bridge to get to where he was, climb the tree, check him out and then run back to raise the alarm.

She also had to send her daughter, Elizabeth, 7, up the long steep farm track to wait at the side of Makara Rd to wait for the ambulance.  ‘‘She was very brave.’’

Jelley praised the ambulance and fire service staff who helped out.  ‘‘Those guys did a really great job.’’

* The story originally said the man broke both legs but that information has since been corrected.

The Dominion Post