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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 June, 2004, 08:24 GMT 09:24 UK
Rainforest plunge woman is named
Queensland
"Jungle surfers" glide through Queensland's rainforest
A British backpacker severely injured after falling from a rainforest viewing platform in north-eastern Australia has been named.

Lucy Keen, 24, from Oxford, had been about to embark on a "jungle surfing" ride at Cape Tribulation, north Queensland, when she fell 65ft (20m).

She has severe head injuries and is on a life support machine, with her parents at her bedside.

Police said they were considering bringing criminal charges.

Detective Sergeant Trevor Perham, of Mossman Police, Queensland, said Ms Keen was "lucky to be alive".

Police said she had been preparing to go on the Flying Fox ride, but they had not yet established whether she was actually on it when she fell.

The experience was certainly thrilling and a very different way to see the rainforest
British holidaymaker
On the Flying Fox tour, people on a harness glide across a rope connected between two points.

"We have interviewed witnesses, which has included asking questions of people involved in the management of the attraction," said Det Sgt Perham.

"We're considering the possibility of criminal charges and we hope to conclude the investigation within the next few weeks."

He added that Ms Keen's condition was "very serious".

"If she does survive, we don't know what lasting injuries she will have incurred."

Safety record

Following the fall on Saturday, Ms Keen was airlifted to a hospital in Cairns before being transferred by air to the larger Townsville General Hospital.

Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours is run by a group of biological scientists who use the harness to survey flora and fauna.

Participants can "feel like Tarzan or Jane as you swing through the forest" for 27 an hour, according to their advertisements.

Tour guides say the ride has a 100% safety record since it launched in August, and customers include television presenter Keith Chegwin and his film crew.

The brochure says: "Your safety is covered with all construction and equipment meeting the highest standards and all platforms manned by highly trained climbing and abseil masters."

One British holidaymaker who jungle-surfed there last week said: "The experience was certainly thrilling and a very different way to see the rainforest.

"It is hard to imagine how an accident could happen."




SEE ALSO:
Country profile: Australia
27 May 04  |  Country profiles


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