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NZ swing fall victim is fighting for her life

AN Irish woman is fighting for her life in a New Zealand hospital today after an accident involving a 10-metre rope swing.

Debra Drury (24) , from Canningstown in Cootehill, Co Cavan, suffered critical injuries after a fall from the rope in a park in Wellington on Sunday.

Wellington City Council has said the swing in Charles Plimmer Park on Mt Victoria, which was attached to a large tree, was dangerous.

Council spokesman Richard McLean said the swing had a piece of wood attached to it which the swinger would jump onto and sit down on as it swung away.

"Somehow she didn't make the transition properly and ended up hanging from it by her arms," he said.

Witnesses said Debra fell from the rope at its highest point in the swing.

She was at the highest point from the ground when she fell to the ground.

"She came down off the swing on the top of her head and hit hard ground beneath," a relative said.

"She is in hospital in an induced coma."

"All we know at the moment is that it is going to take a number of days for the swelling to come down before we know more," they added.

Debra travelled to Australia with a friend on a gap year, around three months ago.

She had already been on the swing once, but was injured on her second trip on the giant swing device.


Wellington Hospital spokeswoman Chloe Barnes confirmed Debra as being in a critical condition in the intensive care unit receiving round-the-clock care.

A Dept of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said it is providing consular assistance for the Drury family as they try to organise how to deal with Debra being critically ill so far away from home.

Friends and relatives on Facebook have been posting messages of support for Debra online.

"Thinking of you and sending you love, hugs, positive thoughts and prayers," wrote one cousin.