WHAT started as a fun way to end a warm spring day almost ended in tragedy for Kali Gray, 16, on Sunday.
Just days after she fell backwards down the cliff face at Warriewood Blowhole her father Jamie Gray has praised the emergency service personnel who rescued his daughter.
Climbing down the rope at Warriewood Blowhole is a rite of passage for young people in the area. The ropes are attached to a metal anchor and you hold on as you lower yourself down the rocks three metres towards the water.
On Sunday afternoon Kali and her friends were heading down for a swim when the rope came away from its anchor and she fell backwards onto the rocks.
"I got the call at 1pm from one of her friends to say she'd taken a fall," Mr Gray said.
"They said 'she's fallen, but she's OK and she's conscious'."
Kali was a foot-and-a-half off falling another eight metres onto rocks.Jamie Gray
Mr Gray rushed from the family's North Narrabeen home to the scene.
"She was in shock and a lot of pain in her feet because she'd landed on her feet," he said.
"I went down to see how badly she was injured and to see if I could get her out myself. Kali was a foot-and-a-half off falling another eight metres onto rocks."
With Kali unable to put any weight on her feet a triple-0 call was made.
"Jen the paramedic was amazing and Rob the firie arrived and he had to work out how to get her out," Mr Gray said. "It was a hell of an effort the way they had to drag her out with rocks falling down.
"To have three helicopters, two fire trucks, police rescue and five ambulances at one time is really humbling. When shit goes wrong there's great help there for our community."
Kali broke her heel on one foot and badly bruised her other foot during the fall, and was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital for treatment.
It was a hell of an effort the way they had to drag her out with rocks falling down.Jamie Gray
Despite the incident, Mr Gray said it's "just one of those things", and reminisced that when he was young he too would climb down the ropes towards the water. He said the area should not be closed and down by council.
"The kids are going to keep doing it, and they'll keep doing it for the next 50 years," he said.
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Fire and Rescue NSW Station Officer Josh Holliday was among the emergency crews who were at the rescue and said Kali was very lucky.
"If she'd fallen awkwardly on that little ledge it would have been a very different story," he said.
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