Cairns woman missing in rainforest for 17 days could hear rescue helicopter: police

A woman who spent 17 days lost in a Queensland rainforest has told police she could hear the rescue helicopter and people calling out to her but could not reach them.

Cairns police also backed Shannon Fraser's version of events, saying they had no reason to disbelieve her.

And they ruled out foul play in 30-year-old's disappearance from the Golden Hole swimming spot, north-west of Innisfail, on September 21.

She had visited the popular hole with her partner and had followed him for a walk but became separated.

She emerged from the rainforest on Wednesday, more than a fortnight later, scratched up, severely sunburnt and 17 kilograms lighter.

She was helped by a local farmer before being taken to hospital, where she remained in a stable condition.

Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said police interviewed Ms Fraser in hospital for an hour and a half on Friday afternoon.

They went through what occurred from the time she became lost up to when she was found.

Police said Ms Fraser told them she could hear the rescue helicopter and people calling out but could not get to them.

"The area that she had moved in to was in fact deep rainforest, so there's very, very little visibility out for her," Detective Inspector Asnicar said.

"In that environment, when you're down or on the side of a mountain in a valley like that, I think it would be extremely difficult to move toward sound or even identify where the sound is coming from."

Detective Inspector Asnicar said following the interview with Ms Fraser, it was established she climbed out of the search area through the night.

"She'd been so disorientated she hasn't moved towards the helicopter and the search that occurred for some nine days," he said.

"At this stage we don't have any reason to disbelieve anything she said."

Ms Fraser remains in hospital, undergoing for various injuries including exposure.

'Critical look' at search and rescue promised

Detective Inspector Asnicar said emergency services would take a "critical look" at the search and rescue effort to see if there was anything they could improve upon in future.

"We were interested in talking to Shannon to identify how she slipped through the search pattern," he said.

"We will examine that over the coming weeks and see if we can do some things to prevent that from happening in the future.

"The investigation we conduct on any search is just to improve the performance of our searches.

Detective Inspector Asnicar said the search procedures were extremely rigorous and controlled independently through a search and rescue coordinator in Brisbane.

"We'll be having a critical look at the search itself to improve anything we can do in future," he said.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting