Birmingham tourist loses leg in horror scuba accident

A Birmingham tourist nearly lost her leg after her calf muscle was ripped off in a horror boating accident in Australia.

The 53-year-old was on a two-day cruise with her husband around the world famous Whitsunday Islands in Queensland when the freak accident occurred on Saturday at 4.30pm.

The unnamed woman was on board 24-metre luxury yacht the British Defender 500 metres off the shore of the iconic Whitehaven Beach when she became tangled in a rope.

She was pulled along the boat’s deck and smashed into handrails and equipment before she was dragged across high tension stainless steel wire which snapped, ripping off the skin, flesh and muscle off her left lower leg.

Paramedics, who initially thought her leg had been ripped off, gave her pain relief on the deck of the yacht before she was transferred to the rescue helicopter which was waiting on Whitehaven Beach via an inflatable boat.



The 53-year-old was then airlifted 96km south to Mackay Base Hospital, where she remains in a stable condition.

A spokesman for local helicopter rescue RACQ CQ Rescue said the woman, who has recently undergone a liver and kidney transplant, will have to learn to walk again.

CQ Rescue Air crewman Lee Jones-Fraser said: “It was not something our crew had ever come across before.

“The call initially came through as an amputation but it later transpired the woman had suffered a bilateral degloving injury down the left side of her leg.

“She got her leg wrapped in some rope associated with the sail system.”

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