Impaled Aussie shows 'Bear Grylls' grit to survive

MELBOURNE - A man who impaled himself on a steel stake after falling from a rock in Australia showed "Bear Grylls" type grit to drag himself uphill for 90 minutes to find help, paramedics said on Tuesday.

Gary Walker, 45, tumbled from a viewpoint in Melbourne's northwest on Monday, landing on a steel spike which pierced his upper thigh.

He fainted from the intense pain, but when he woke up he used his belt as a tourniquet, pulled the stake from his leg and dragged himself up a steep 50 metre (165 feet) embankment to call for help.

"You see the Hollywood movies where the guy brings out the spear through his chest and that sort of stuff and you go, 'Oh, rubbish, you can't do that'," Walker told reporters from his Melbourne hospital bed.

"You can, you just got to have the... determination."

Walker's exploits saw him likened to celebrity survivalist Bear Grylls, the English adventurer whose "Man vs Wild" television programme has become one of the most-watched shows around the world.

"He's certainly shown some Bear Grylls characteristics in removing himself from a very difficult situation," paramedic Louise Wylie told reporters, adding that Walker had first-aid training.

Walker himself said it was simply a matter of keeping calm.

He told reporters that when he realised he could not pull the spike, which narrowly missed an artery and bone, out of the ground, he knew he had to "pull myself off the... picket".

"It took five to 10 seconds," he said. "There was a great gush of blood. I got very dizzy."

Walker, who had left his mobile phone in his car, then crawled to the top of the embankment as night was setting in so he could call for help.

"I kept on saying to myself every crawl, every step, 'It's not far to go, you'll get there'," he said.

Paramedics arriving at the viewpoint found him pale and in severe pain with extensive bleeding. He was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in shock and was expected to be operated on.

"I suppose 10 years down the track, having a couple of beers with a mate around a campfire one day I'll be laughing at the story going 'Bear Grylls, eat your heart out'," Walker said.

"Keep watching those documentaries, because they may save your life one day. You never know."