Ms Landers was scaling the edifice with three friends when she fell, breaking her leg on landing. Fellow rock climbers called for assistance, which took hours to recover her from the site and get her to hospital. (See story here.)
“We have inspected the scene where Mrs Landers who fell and asked the local rock-climbing club, and they said that everything there is okay, that no climbing pins in the wall are worn out or need replacing,” Capt Chokdee Petdaung of the Ao Nang Police told The Phuket News.
“We know that Mrs Landers has expertise in climbing, her friends told us, but we were also told that her equipment was not ‘standard’, so all we can assume is that the accident resulted from her own carelessness while climbing,” Capt Chokdee said.
Ms Landers and her three friends also did not have their equipment inspected by instructors at the local rock-climbing club, Capt Chokdee added.
Pankum Kittithornkul, the Chief Administration Officer (Palad) at the Ao Nang Subdistrict Administrative Organisation (OrBorTor), told The Phuket News that many such incidents happened within Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park each year.
The rock face where Ms Landers fell is within the park boundaries, he noted.
“Climbing at Ao Nang is very popular. More than 5,000 people go there each year to climb,” Mr Pankum said
“The rock face is on public land and it is free for everyone to climb, but any person wanting to go rock climbing at Railay should listen to the advice of the local club, because they know which points are dangerous and whether tourists should not be there or not,” he added.
“We do not have any officials here at Ao Nang OrBorTor with expert knowledge about rock climbing, so we just rely on the local club to always check to make sure people who do climb in the area are safe,” Mr Pankum said.