RACQ LifeFlight Rescue winches injured climber from mountain

The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter crew has winched a man to safety, after he was trapped on a small ledge on a mountain side in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, in a multi-agency rescue operation.

It’s believed the man had been climbing one of the more advanced routes on the eastern face of the popular mountain, when he fell and landed on the ledge, suffering a suspected leg fracture.

The alarm was raised around 1pm this afternoon (Sun 8th Nov) and the Sunshine coast-based rescue helicopter was immediately deployed to assess the situation.

“We flew around the area where he was stranded. We looked carefully at his position and decided it was too precarious to attempt a winch extraction from that ledge,” said RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter pilot Aaron Regan.
A specialist remote rescue team from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) was already climbing towards the injured man, who was about halfway up the mountain.

It was decided they would move him a short distance, to another location, which would be safer for a winching operation to be conducted.

“The QFES team did a great job. We couldn’t have done this without them. They climbed up to him and moved him about 15 or 20 metres to a more suitable area, so we could winch our QAS Critical Care Flight Paramedic down,” said Aaron Regan.

Once he’d been hoisted down, the Flight Paramedic set the man’s leg in a splint.

Both men were then winched carefully back into the helicopter.
The injured climber, aged in his twenties, was airlifted to Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

“It’s a good time to remind everyone planning to go hiking or climbing, to check conditions, make sure you have a charged mobile phone or registered emergency beacon and that someone knows where you are going,” said Mr Regan.