ADVENTUROUS university student Elisabeth Fairley admits climbing up a Point Cartwright cliff face wasn't the brightest thing she has done.

But she has spoken out to clear up what happened in the lead up to falling 9m on Wednesday afternoon.

Ms Fairley, 18, was with her gridiron teammate Brad Ebdon when they decided to scale the cliff face for a bit of extra exercise before training.

Elisabeth Fairley who was injured in a cliff fall at Point Cartwright. July 23, 2015. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily
Elisabeth Fairley who was injured in a cliff fall at Point Cartwright. July 23, 2015. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily Patrick Woods

She had regularly done outdoor climbing as well as bouldering, a form of climbing without a harness, while growing up in her native Tasmania.

They reached a point where Mr Ebdon thought it best to stop so he called out to Ms Fairley.

Rescuers help Marcoola teen Elisabeth Fairley after she fell 9m down a cliff face at Point Cartwright.
Rescuers help Marcoola teen Elisabeth Fairley after she fell 9m down a cliff face at Point Cartwright. john mccutcheon

"I was trying to turn around to come back down when I was about 9m up and the rock slipped out from under my foot," Ms Fairley said.

She reached a point of no recovery and instinctively pushed away from the rock face.

"To be honest, I was thinking 'this could be it'."

Falling feet first she landed heavily on an outcrop about 5m below her, breaking her left ankle before falling a further 4m onto her backside.

Miraculously, she did not lose consciousness and after debating whether or not to call 000, got in touch.

Ms Fairley kept talking to her friend to remain awake, something she had learned in the first year of her Bachelor of Paramedic Science studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

She even recognised some of the paramedics who came to her aid because they had tutored her in class.

"It was good to have people I knew there I guess."

Ms Fairley was put on a stretcher and in a neck brace before the RACQ CareFlight helicopter picked her up from the shorelineto fly her to Nambour General Hospital.

She was treated for cuts and deep bruises as well as the ankle injury and remained overnight before returning to her Marcoola home today.

The rescue experience solidified her career desire to become an advanced care or critical care paramedic.

"It's amazing what they do and hopefully it is what I'll be able to do one day."

The incredible fact she was able to tell her tale was not lost on her.

"Now I think back on it, it wasn't a brilliant place to climb."

She planned to make the most of her good fortune, once back on her feet.

"I am amazed I am still here.

"It was definitely confronting."


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