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CareFlight’s Gold Coast chopper flies eight missions in six days

RACQ CareFlight Rescue’s Gold Coast based helicopter has clocked up almost 40 hours in the air, performing eight lifesaving rescue missions last week.

CareFlight Rescue Aircrewman Ryan Purchase said the Gold Coast crew was kept busy with emergency airlifts between last Tuesday and Sunday (February 3 to 8).

“In the last six days, we have performed an urgent search and rescue mission for two spear fishermen, transferred five seriously ill patients between hospital facilities, and airlifted two people from the scene of a road crash and an off road accident,” Mr Purchase said.

“This averages more than one lifesaving mission per day.”

CareFlight’s community helicopter was called to perform an aerial search off the Tweed Heads Coast on Friday morning after two spear fishermen were reported missing.

The two men were free diving just off the coast when they got into trouble.

They had been drifting for about an hour and a half before they were found safe and well by the Gold Coast helicopter crew, who directed Water Police to the men’s location.

The Gold Coast crew also responded to two on and off road accidents at the weekend.

“On Saturday a rider was airlifted to the Gold Coast University Hospital following a collision between his trail bike and a 4WD,” he said.

“The male rider aged in his 40s suffered a suspected fractured leg and pelvic injury.

“He was airlifted in a stable condition.”

Yesterday a motocross rider with a suspected spinal injury was airlifted from the Queensland Moto Park at Coulson.

“The man in his 20s had been riding around the track when his front wheel got caught.

“He was thrown over the handlebars and landed heavily.

“He was flown to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in a serious but stable condition,” Mr Purchase said.

The Gold Coast RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter was also tasked on five vital hospital transfers last week.

A two-year-old child was flown from Gympie to Brisbane on Tuesday for specialist medical treatment, while a man in his 60s with a serious cardiac condition was airlifted from Warwick on Wednesday.

An eight-year-old girl suffering a respiratory condition was also transferred to Brisbane under the watchful eye of a Paediatric team.

“Inter-hospital transfers are essential for helping critically injured or ill patients get the urgent specialist care they need in major hospitals,” Mr Purchase added.