Horror footage shows the moment a 12-year-old girl broke four bones in her legs and an ankle after jumping off a popular cliff in Victoria, Australia.
Sixth grader Sarah Jacka suffered injuries diving off The Pillars cliffs in Mount Martha along the Mornington Peninsula during low tide.
Her father Chris was filming from the family’s boat when he heard his daughter screaming out and swam over to help.
“I thought I was paralyzed, I couldn’t feel my legs at all,” Sarah told 9News.
Mr. Jacka described the incident as “harrowing.” He thought his daughter had just “done a very simple jump” into the water.
“She said she couldn’t feel her legs so I was scared she broke her back,” he said.
The young girl, who competed in the state diving team and dreamt of becoming an Olympic diver, was rushed to hospital where she underwent surgery on Tuesday.
Mr. Jacka said his daughter has been an “absolute trooper” since the incident, which she is expected to take six months to recover from.
“She broke her tibia down at the base, a chunk of the tibia came off, that’s been screwed back in with two screws,” he told the Herald Sun.
“She also fractured two elements of her talus, they’ve been glued back on, so she did a really good job on the ankle, there’s lots of damage down there.”
With one leg in a cast and the other strapped in a leg brace, Sarah now uses her dad’s mechanical trolley to move around her home.
“It’s a bit sad because I’m so active and it’s really hard not being able to do sport,” she said.
A 24-year-old man broke his leg while jumping from the same cliffs earlier this week.
The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council said they have closed nearby sights and placed warning signs at the cliff to reduce activity at the popular site.
Sarah said she wouldn’t be jumping off the cliffs again and warned others to “check the waters before you jump in.”x
“It’s not worth the injury,” her dad added. “It’s not worth the risk for that 30 seconds of adrenaline.”