RACQ LifeFlight Rescue ocean training creates coastline spectacle

Sunshine Coast residents would have noticed one of RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s yellow and blue choppers, hovering off Alexandra Headland this morning.

Rescue crews braved the cooler temperatures, to complete annual water rescue training, in conjunction with Queensland Police Service’s (QPS) Sunshine Coast-based boat.

The exercise aims to ensure RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crews are always ready to respond to rescues and emergencies on the water.

Two pilots and two air crewmen, who are also rescue swimmers, completed several training scenarios.

They included dropping a life raft, winching people to and from the raft and winching an RACQ LifeFlight Rescue swimmer, to and from the back of the QPS vessel.

The crew members also practiced extracting patients from the ocean, using a rescue basket, which had been used in a real-life scenario in March, when three tourists were winched from the ocean near Inskip Point.

In recent months, Sunshine Coast crews have been tasked to winch patients from the ocean, from a cruise ship and from an inland rock pool, all in separate incidents.

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Aircrew Officer, Scott Reeman, said the yearly training is necessary, to ensure crews are able to respond to any scenario.

“We can’t control the water or weather conditions, but we can make sure we are prepared for anything,” he said.

“Rescues like this require a safe and efficient response, so we can help people in need, as quickly as possible.”