A kayaker rescued from a gorge along the remote West Kiewa River in north-east Victoria this morning was forced to break his own leg in order to free himself from the freezing and rising water.
The 38-year-old was close to drowning after he became trapped under a tree. In an act of self-preservation, he wrenched his leg from under the tree, breaking both bones in his lower leg in the process.
I used to kayak down some pretty scary rivers, sometimes for fun, sometimes competitively in Scotland. I have had many long swims in freezing water and lots of bumps and bruises, but nothing as dramatic as this. My friend once got stuck in a gabion weir and had to risk capsizing to get out of that situation. The power of water once you get jammed up against a downstream obstacle is scary.