Kayaker Breaks Own Leg To Avoid Drowning

Australian Man's Decision Is Reminiscent Of Aron Ralston Of Colorado

Rescuers said an Australian kayaker broke his own leg to avoid drowning after his craft flipped over and became jammed in a tree in a surging river.

Paramedic Anthony de Wit said the man was among a group of white water rafters on the West Kiewa River in the northeast Victoria state when his kayak became stuck in a fallen tree on Sunday.

"If he didn't break his leg to free himself, he was going to drown," said de Wit.

Dewit said the 38-year-old man broke two bones in his lower leg, wrenching himself free.

He spent Sunday night in the river gorge being cared for by colleagues, who included a doctor, and emergency workers who hiked into the area before he was flown by helicopter out of the area on Monday.

The bones are now believed to have been pinned together and the man is recuperating in a hospital.

The ordeal echoes that of Coloradan Aron Ralston, who was forced to use a pocket knife to amputate his lower right arm after a boulder trapped him for five days in a Utah desert slot canyon.