Families and emergency service workers are urging people to be careful when hiking The Rock after a 12-year-old girl tumbled some 20 metres on Saturday.
The young girl needed to be rescued in a multi-agency operation after she took a fall about 11:30am, but fortunately escaped the incident with only very minor injuries.
For Junee mother Sharran Eastoe, the weekend’s events brought back some frightening memories of when her own 13-year-old daughter fell about 30 metres at the site last September.
“We don’t blame whoever the carers of The Rock are – our daughter was told on the way up to stay to the track, but on the way down she decided to veer off it, and that’s when she fell,” she said.
“Up the top of The Rock the path starts zig-zagging back down – it was not far off the first few zig-zags where she moved to the edge and fell about 30 metres.”
After losing her footing, she began rolling down The Rock and only came to a halt when her pelvis slammed into a tree.
Ms Eastoe said she was very lucky that her husband bumped into a colleague from work who was very-well trained in first aid.
“My son got to her first and freaked out because there was so much blood, but she was conscious and they did the basic first aid,” she said.
“She was fine and sat up, but she had a very nasty gash to the head, a very sore body, bruising, and scratches.”
Ms Eastoe said she would never want to see the day when people could no longer hike at The Rock, but thought the community could take a few simple steps to keep the track safe to enjoy for all.
“There are sections that do need to have barriers – sure, people might climb over barriers, but they're often a very good visual warning to say ‘hey, you do need to be a bit more cautious here’,” she said.
“It’d be a shame to lose it because people haven’t adhered to warning signs or common sense.”
Jodie Carter, who captains the Wagga Rescue Squad that was called in to assist during the weekend emergency, said all hikers could take some basic precautions to help minimise accidents.
“Always let someone know that you’re going, always go with someone, always take enough water, and always wear appropriate footwear,” Ms Carter said.
“You should always be aware of the weather, especially if it’s just been raining, because the rocks along the path can get very slippery.”