A young woman was seconds from plunging to her death from a 38th-floor Gold Coast balcony when a nearby tradie leapt to her rescue.

Darryn Marshall was installing a kitchen in a top floor apartment of the Southport Central complex on Tuesday when he realised the woman had entered the unit and was dangling from the balcony railing.

“She gave me the biggest fright of my life,” he told AAP.

“Her whole body was over the railing except for one leg”.

Fuelled by adrenaline, Mr Marshall sprung into action, grabbing the woman and leaning his body halfway over the railing to pull her to safety.

“She was gone, had I not got there. That’s what spins me out so much, how close she was from falling,” he said.

“I’m scared of heights, let alone being up 38 storeys and seeing someone almost jump off.”


It is believed the woman, who has Down Syndrome, walked away from her carers and took a lift to the 38th-floor before wandering through the apartment Mr Marshall and his colleague were working in.

The two had earlier propped the door open so they could move heavy benchtops into the unit.

Senior Sergeant Brendan Wiblen said the woman would have definitely fallen to her death if not for the actions of Mr Marshall.

“If he hadn’t acted in the way he did a tragedy would have occurred within seconds,” he said.

“His reaction was instantaneous and spontaneous to save the life of somebody he didn’t know.”

Sgt Wiblen said the officers who attended the scene are now in the process of nominating Mr Marshall for a nationally-recognised bravery award.


But the Queensland tradie believes there was “nothing brave” about what he did.

“I was the only person there so I had to do something. It’s not like I’ll be the hero today and put my cape on, it’s just something I had to do.”