Survivor contestant suffers horrific injury after rope snaps in freak accident

Gillian Wolski
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

A contestant on Australian Survivor was forced to bow out of the competition altogether after a freak accident during a challenge left him with a horrific injury.

Big wave surfer Ross Clarke-Jones suffered a broken ankle when he fell into a ditch after the rope he was swinging on suddenly snapped, leaving him in agony.

"I screamed in pain, I haven’t felt pain like that, sort of anywhere," the 53-year-old told 10 daily.

Call the medic

The incident occurred in an episode that aired on Monday night, mid-way through the final team immunity challenge before the Champions and Contenders tribes were expected to merge.

At one stage during the demanding obstacle course, Ross and his fellow contestants were required to “swing like Tarzan” on a long rope from one platform to the other - but halfway through, disaster struck.

"The rope broke on me and I slammed into the platform I was meant to be going on. I couldn’t believe it, it was like slow motion for me," Ross said.

The sickening moment the man affectionately known as Mad Dog’s right ankle snapped was captured on camera, as was the chaos that ensued.

Ross’ fellow tribe members were left in extreme distress, with actor Pia Miranda and AFL Premiership Winner Abbey Holmes shouting for the challenge to stop as medics swarmed on the scene.

“He was in a lot of pain… a lot of pain,” a clearly worried Janine Allis later said.

Survivor favourite Ross Clarke-Jones is carried off set by host Jonathan LaPaglia after breaking his ankle. Photo: Channel 10.

Host to the rescue

A clearly shocked Ross was examined by a team of medics, who were immediately concerned about a fracture.

After he was deemed unable to continue the challenge let alone walk, Survivor host Jonathan LaPaglia stepped in to help carry the injured contestant off set.

"I could feel that my body wasn’t right, I knew I couldn’t walk on it," he recalled to 10 daily.

While the challenge resumed, Ross was later transported to a local Fijian hospital where X-rays confirmed that the dare devil surfer’s Survivor dreams were over thanks to a broken ankle.

A hero’s farewell

Ross, limping and on crutches, returned to camp with Jonathan to break the sad news to his anxious tribe mates.

"I hadn’t even gotten started yet, I was just warming up. I had everyone where I wanted them to be. I could have gone either way. I had alliances with everyone," he told 10 daily.

On the plus side, because of Ross’ exit his tribe avoided a tribal council meaning no one else would have to go home.

He revealed that he's still got "a long road ahead" in terms of recovery and will likely "be out for four to six months".

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