Canberra:A British tourist fell to her death from an Australian beauty spot while posing for a photograph on the edge of a cliff, an inquest has heard.Zoe Woolmer, 23, was encouraged by guides from The Rock Tour to climb onto a ledge at Kings Canyon in Australia’s Northern Territory to take a photo that would make it look as if she was hanging from the edge of the cliff, witnesses told the inquest.
Miss Woolmer then fell 30 metres, suffering severe head injuries and a broken back.Rangers were able to reach her 50 minutes later, when she was still conscious. But despite spending 20 minutes performing CPR, she was pronounced dead at the scene.The head ranger at Watarrka National Park stayed with her body overnight until it was recovered.
Miss Woolmer was from Hertfordshire and had been travelling around Australia for a year after studying human resources at the University of Portsmouth. Kelvin Currie, counsel assisting the coroner, said Miss Woolmer had made her way to the ledge as instructed by the guides during the trip in June last year.
“She then put her left leg down and moved her body to put her right foot on the ledge,” he said .”However her right foot didn’t reach the ledge at the moment she anticipated.”As the witness put it ‘she stepped on air’, At that moment she also appears to have let go her hold on the top ledge.
“She reached out for the top ledge as she was falling backwards.”
Rebecca Gethen, the tour guide, was six weeks into the job when the death occurred and on her fourth solo tour.She had been trained to take visitors to the cliff where they were encouraged to take photos.
“I didn’t [see her fall] directly at the time but I distinctly remember her pink and white top going in and out of view,” she told the inquest.”There was a scream and it took me a moment to register what had happened.
“She wasn’t saying any words but she was groaning and moaning. She was looking up at me… I said, ‘help is on the way darling. Don’t worry, I won’t leave you.”Miss Woolmer’s family has traveled to Alice Springs for the inquest, which is expected to last three days.