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Rescue crews test water winch skills in time for summer

RACQ CareFlight Rescue crews will undergo a rigorous training session to refine their water winch skills in preparation for summer.

On Wednesday (6 November 2013) the Sunshine Coast helicopter crew will be tested on a series of rescue techniques off the coast of Mooloolaba.

The spectacular display doubles as a training drill to ensure every crew member is ready to rescue at a moment’s notice.

The training will see crews deploy dummy life rafts and winch “survivors” to safety in a mock ocean rescue.

For the first time, this training is being conducted with the support of the Mooloolaba Yacht Club who has committed a vessel to the exercise.

The crews will practise winching to and from the vessel using a technique referred to as ‘tag lining’.

A tag line is useful when winching to vessels with hazardous obstructions, like the mast of a yacht, and allows the winch cable to be manoeuvred without the pilot repositioning the aircraft.

RACQ CareFlight Rescue’s Check and Training Pilot, David Smith, said the training ensures the crew is prepared, no matter what the conditions.

“Last summer, CareFlight winched families from their flooded homes and sick or injured passenger’s from boats,” Mr Smith said.

“Tomorrow’s training is vital to ensure the currency of our crew is at the highest standard.”

“It’s also a great way for the public to see the crew in action, get a real feel for our work and a better appreciation of where their donations go.”

RACQ CareFlight Rescue relies on the generosity of the community to continue its lifesaving work.

The public can donate online.