Abseiler falls to his death, girlfriend rescued in Blue Mountains accident

As a young woman was led from the bush by rescuers on Saturday, the full tragedy of her abseiling trip to the Blue Mountains was yet to play out: she did not know her boyfriend had fallen to his death.

Police said the man in his 30s fell after descending the cliff to help his girlfriend, who had become entangled in ropes part of the way down.

The stranded woman was rescued, shaken but uninjured, by a specialist ambulance and police team nearly five hours later.

Fairfax Media understands that when she was walked out by rescuers after being winched up a cliff the woman in her 20s was ignorant of the fate of her boyfriend.

A tourist raised the alarm about 8.30am after hearing the woman’s cries for help.

The pair were at Malaita Point, a popular abseiling location near Scenic World at Katoomba.

Late Saturday afternoon emergency personnel were still working to recover the body from the base of the cliff.

Steve McNamara, a freelance cameraman who arrived on the scene about 9am and filmed the rescue and recovery operation, said: “They’re trying to move the body from the bottom of the cliff to somewhere the helicopter can access it and lift it out.”

A NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said emergency personnel had constructed a rope system allowing them to reach the stranded woman and lift her to the top of the cliff.

She was walked out of the area around 1.30pm.

It is not known whether the couple were experienced abseilers, although they are not believed to have been climbing with a group or a commercial operator.

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