It was thanks to eight quick-thinking strangers that a young Perth woman has made it home after falling down a 5m cliff in Manning Gorge. Lucy Hilder, 23, and her family were three days into a 12-day Gibb River Road trip when they decided to embark on one of the region’s most popular hikes; a 5.6km walk between the steep walls of Manning Gorge to a rushing waterfall-fed pool. The group made it to the turn-around point — a massive turquoise pool, fed by fresh water, cascading over the lip of the gorge. After spending a few hours lapping up the sunshine, the group began to make their way back and were 2.5km from the carpark when Lucy, who was making her way along a steep ridge, slipped on the slick stone and fell 5m onto the trail below. “I was just around the corner, so I didn’t see it, but I heard it,” Lucy’s sister, Maegen Hilder, said. “I came running and saw she’d opened up the bottom of her foot and you could see the bones.” Maegen said she ran to seek help from a family they had passed further along the trail to see if they had a first aid kit. “They all came running and helped out. They didn’t have anything, so I used the shirt that I was wearing to wrap her foot.” She said it quickly became apparent Lucy would need to be carried out, so the group used what they had on them to fashion a stretcher. “The family found some branches and used their towels to make a stretcher. I was staying with her and my partner was running for help.” In a stroke of luck, the first person Maegen’s partner, Matt, met on the trail ahead was an Army medic — who immediately radioed to Mount Barnett Roadhouse — and the second was a paramedic. “They splinted her foot, wrapped it up and told us what we needed to do. People kept coming to help and after about an hour, there were about eight men that carried her out,” Maegen said. “And then as we went along, more and more people stopped to help.” Back at the campground, the group were joined by two nurses who hurried the 23-year-old into a car and drove her to the nearest airfield, where she was taken by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Broome, then Perth. Once in Perth, the extent of Lucy’s injuries became apparent; the fall had shattered her heel and fractured her pelvis and wrist. After several surgeries, Lucy is now recovering at home in Perth and will be confined to a wheelchair for six weeks as her injuries heal. Derby Visitor Centre cautions tourists via their website stating the Manning Gorge trail is poorly marked and care should be taken.