At 5.30pm on New Year’s Day, the Sunshine Coast RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter was tasked to fly to the Maltese bulk carrier Bianco Victoria Bulker, which was situated off the North East of Fraser Island, to airlift a 21-year-old Philippine national who had reportedly suffered serious head injuries as a result of a fall.
The helicopter arrived on the scene and was able to land on the deck of the vessel. The male patient was airlifted in a serious but stable condition to the Royal Brisbane Hospital.
The Sunshine Coast crew were required again shortly after 9am the following day when a trail bike rider in his early-40s suffered pelvic injuries as a result of an accident at Imbil State Forest, near Kenilworth in the Mary Valley.
Despite encroaching inclement weather, the CareFlight crew were able to winch a medical team down to the man, then successfully conducted a winch rescue operation, before transferring the patient to Nambour General Hospital in a stable condition.
Shortly after, the same Sunshine Coast crew flew to Double Island Point, north of Noosa, where a man in his 50s had reportedly succumbed to a medical condition whilst relaxing in shallow water. It is believed a Queensland Parks and Wildlife ranger was first on the scene and administered CPR, before Surf Lifesaving lifeguards were able to use a defibrillator and oxygen on the patient. The man was flown to Nambour General Hospital in a stable condition.
The CareFlight medical team credited the efforts of the first responders with saving the man’s life.
And finally, the Bundaberg RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter was tasked on a search and rescue mission just before 7.30am on January 2 after an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) signal was detected three kilometres off the coast, near the mouth of the remote Baffle Creek, 90 kilometres north of Bundaberg.
Upon conducting the search, it was discovered that three men had made it back to shore after their aluminium fishing boat had capsized. The men had reportedly clung to the side of their upturned boat, and had received assistance from a nearby homestead upon reaching land again.
The CareFlight crew assessed the condition of all three men after landing on the beach, whereupon it was decided that they would not require transport to hospital.