Rescuers work to free the woman from an overturned car on the rocks at Gallows Beach.
Rescuers work to free the woman from an overturned car on the rocks at Gallows Beach. Frank Redward

Spectacular cliff rescue

COFFS Harbour emergency services have been commended for a spectacular rescue in trying conditions, after a car plunged down the cliff face at Gallows Beach.

A 33-year-old woman was trapped in the overturned vehicle for more than an hour late on Saturday.

The woman was stabilised at the scene, suffering head trauma, after her head shattered the windscreen.

Rescuers worked under lights to cut her free in a race against the incoming tide.

Ambulance, NSW fire crews, police and the State Emergency Service all assisted in the delicate extraction shortly after 10pm.

“You only have to look at the photographs of the rescue scene to realise just how difficult it was to extract the driver,” SES unit controller Bill Roffey said.

“The car was on its roof and lodged in a precarious position on the rocks, so it was an amazing effort by all involved.

“The tide was rising and coming in fast when we got there, so no time could be wasted freeing her. Fortunately the car was just above the high water mark in the end,” he said.

The woman was taken by ambulance to Coffs Harbour Hospital.

The Mitsubishi Magna was extensively damaged and later winched up to the carpark.

The rescue capped off another busy weekend for emergency crews. Another night of carnage closed the Pacific Highway south of Urunga on Friday.

Three people were injured in yet another serious accident – the third high speed crash on that section in six days.


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