A woman who crawled to safety after breaking both her legs on King Island has been praised for her “Herculean effort”.
Melissa Bee, who moved to King Island in June, said she had been walking near Grassy Dam when she fell down an eight metre slope and broke her legs last month.
Ms Bee said it took her more than 10 hours to crawl more than five kilometres and phone for help.
She said locals had advised her the journey would be safe, however, once she embarked she encountered rough terrain.
“It was an extremely steep slope that just ended with about a six foot drop from the end of the slope to rock below...there was no way I could get down safely, I was trapped,” Ms Bee said.
“I was unable to reverse back up but tried to make my way off to the left, which proved disastrous.
“I grabbed a tree sapling on my right, which came out of the ground completely, sending me hurling downwards and my leg snapped in six places at that point.
“As I tried to stop falling further I was not able to and helplessly slithered downwards while my left leg did the same.”
Ms Bee said she yelled for help as she crawled to a pumping station where she turned on a tap in a bid to raise an alarm.
After failing to draw attention she embarked on a trek towards the Grassy port area more than two kilometres away.
“I headed off dragging myself...the best method was on hands and knees,” Ms Bee said.
“I’d count to seven or 10 or 20 before collapsing or passing out in pain.
“I was wet and cold and it eventually got dark but I kept crawling.”
Ms Bee said after walking on her hands and knees for about 10 hours she found an unlocked car, pulled herself in then found a phone which she used to dial ‘000’.
She was later taken to King Island hospital, then flown to North West Regional Hospital for further care.
After undergoing multiple surgeries in Burnie, Ms Bee was transported to Smithton District Hospital, where she expects to remain for weeks.
Tasmania Police Sergeant Steve Shaw praised Ms Bee for her bravery and endurance.
“[Ms Bee] was particularly brave and focused on her survival which was a Herculean effort,” Sergeant Shaw said.