Injured British man saved by off-duty medical students after jumping from clifftop in outback Australia

Jonathan Pearlman
Josh Jones, from Yorkshire, had reportedly drunk “about 10 beers” when he decided to jump from a ledge at Jim Jim Falls

A 25-year-old British man who ignored safety warnings and leapt into a natural pool from a 100-foot clifftop in outback Australia suffered multiple injuries but was rescued by a group of medical students who happened to be passing by.

Josh Jones, from Yorkshire, had reportedly drunk “about 10 beers” when he decided to jump from a ledge at Jim Jim Falls, a remote and spectacular waterfall in the Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. 

Explaining his decision, he told ABC News: “I saw the ledge and thought hey, that's possible to jump off.”

Mr Jones, who is living in Darwin, added: “I tried to pencil, it took the wind out of me, came up and the left leg didn't feel too good. I swam over to the edge, got a bit of air and … the left foot was out far to the left. I thought ‘yeah, that's got to be broken’."

Mr Jones was rescued by a general practitioner who happened to be visiting the falls along with three medical students. 

The four treated him and built a stretcher from a pair of denim shorts to help carry him to safety – a 1,000-yard hike which the visitor’s guide says involves “scrambling over increasingly large boulders”.

Daniel Fitzgerald, who assisted Mr Jones, said about eight people helped to carry the Briton out.

"You've got to go over these huge big boulders and there's no path there whatsoever," he told ABC News.

"He's lucky to survive … I thought he would hit the bottom of the cliff, and not the water."

Following the incident on Saturday afternoon, Mr Jones was taken to a nearby medical clinic and airlifted to the Royal Darwin Hospital early on Sunday.

Medical staff said he broke his left leg in two places and dislocated his knee, as well as receiving facial injuries.  

"[I want to thank] all the guys who came to help me, four doctors and everything … strapped me up, pulled [my leg] straight and we all got back to the camp," Mr Jones said.

"They made up a homemade sling, a stretcher … and dragged me all the way back for hours."

The world heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, which is about half the size of Switzerland, is a popular destination due to its 20,000-year-old indigenous rock art and spectacular landscape, though crocodiles are typically considered the main danger. 

A spokesperson for the park urged visitors to heed notices and warnings signs and “not to take unnecessary risks that may put you and others in danger".