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Canyoning, 11 March 2001, fatality, Bowens Creek



CANYONING 11 March 2001 - Bowens Creek, fatality. Blue Mountains, NSW

A female canyoner died in Bowens Creek on Sunday 11 March 2001. The
woman, a member of a party of four including two men and two women, was
in the upper section of the canyon before the first abseil. Apparently
the group had decided not to do the complete canyon due to high water
and consistent rainfall, they did decide to walk the top section, and
consequently they were in that part of the canyon when the water
started to rise rapidly. The area had experienced considerable rainfall
over the preceding few days and on the morning of the accident there
had been heavy rain storms in the area with over 40mm rainfall recorded
at Blackheath.

Two of the members were able to get onto a ledge above the water, but
the second man was only able to prussik part way out and the woman, who
was standing in waist deep water downstream a little from the others,
was unable to get back. Apparently the leader of the group got a rope
to the woman. Two members left to get help and Police Rescue and Rural
Fire Service personel arrived early in the afternoon. Polair, the
Police helicopter, was called and could see the man but not the woman,
the helicopter was unable to lift either person out. A second
helicopter, Careflight, was also called but was unable to get to the
area due to the weather conditions. A ground party then entered the
canyon and retreived the man but due to continuing high water
conditions, could not reach the woman who appeared to be deceased. The
woman's body was removed on 12/3/01.


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