TOURIST LUCKY TO SURVIVE
By CRAIG McTEAR
FORSTER holidaymaker James Daggar knew something was up ? his wife, Lyn, was taking far too long to return from her morning stroll.
Little did he know she'd plunged some 10 metres over a cliff and was lying helplessly on the rocks below.
James, 68, awoke at 6.45am yesterday and discovered Lyn, 60, was gone from their caravan at Red Rock Caravan Park.
He became increasingly worried when another hour or so passed and Lyn still wasn't back.
"She has fainting fits and I thought maybe she'd collapsed somewhere, being a diabetic," he said.
"I went hunting for her."
Police were also called in to look for the missing woman.
Just before 11am, an angler ? one of many concerned locals who had joined the search ? was atop Red Rock Headland when he peered over the edge and saw legs dangling from a ledge.
"I panicked. We'd been up there before and didn't think anybody could survive if they fell off that," James said.
Another man fearlessly scrambled over the cliff to check on Lyn. He stayed with her until a fleet of emergency vehicles arrived at the scene.
Two ambulance officers clad in safety gear carefully inched their way down the sheer drop, and a rescue helicopter arrived at noon to winch another two paramedics down to the rocks.
The rescuers stabilised Lyn and placed her on a litter, and the chopper returned to winch her to safety.
She was flown to Coffs Harbour Health Campus, where she was treated for multiple fractures and abrasions.
Her condition late yesterday was listed as stable.
"She told me she'd slipped this morning, she'd been there since 7am and hadn't moved," ambulance officer Ian Devereux said.
"She was conscious the whole time."
The Daggars have been staying at Red Rock for two weeks. It's their first visit to the seaside paradise as part of an extended travelling holiday.
"We bought a new digital camera before we went away, and I'm now presuming Lyn went up to the headland to find some good spots to take photos," James said.