RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crew winches camper out of forest

The Sunshine Coast’s RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crew has praised a man for carrying an emergency beacon, which led to his swift rescue from bushland, early this morning.

The man had been camping in a national park, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, when he suffered a suspected cardiac episode and required urgent medical attention.

His Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) was set off, in a call for help.

The rescue helicopter was tasked by Queensland Police Service (QPS), just after 6am.

The crew said the beacon allowed them to quickly hone in on the man’s location and fly directly to him.

“The fact that the patient had a locator beacon made a really significant difference in how quickly we were able to find him and get medical help to him,” RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Aircrew Officer Dan King said.

“In some situations, it can take a while to visually find someone in forest, but the emergency beacon meant we were able to locate, winch and fly him to hospital in less than two hours from receiving the call-out.”

Once the helicopter arrived at the scene, a Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) Flight Paramedic was winched down, to treat and stabilise the patient.

The man was then winched back up to the helicopter, accompanied by the paramedic, before being flown to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

The patient, aged in his 40s, travelled in a stable condition.

The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crew is urging bushwalkers to always pack emergency beacons and not rely solely on mobile phones.

“If you’re going out hiking, it really is in your best interest to take a beacon, it may cost a bit, but it could save your life,” Mr King said.

“Mobile phones can lose reception and battery charge quickly, so beacons are exceptionally valuable.”