News -

Crewman winched off bulk carrier Fraser Coast

The Bundaberg based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter has performed a perfect winch mission of a seriously ill Chinese crewman off the deck of a bulk carrier off the Fraser Coast this morning.

LifeFlight medical personnel had been in contact since yesterday with the ship's crew who made an emergency call regarding the illness of one of their crew. The ship tracked closer towards the Queensland coast   overnight and the decision was made to airlift the patient to hospital as soon as possible.

The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter flew from Bundaberg to Hervey Bay airport just after 9.30 this morning and refuelled to enable them to stay airborne for longer. The rescue helicopter crew located the Oceana bulk carrier 130km off the coast of Hervey Bay.

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Aircrewman Chris Jowsey said the mission went smoothly.

"It was ideal conditions to perform the winch from the vessel, the seas were calm and thankfully there wasn't much wind," said Chris.

Once the Bell 412 helicopter was over the bulk carrier, the crew winched the Flight Intensive Care Paramedic as well as another rescue crewman down to the deck of the vessel. They then provided medical care to the patient, a man in his early 30s who was suffering from abdominal pain. He was placed in a harness and winched on board the rescue helicopter.

After the patient and RACQ LifeFlight crew had been winched back on board the rescue helicopter, they flew to Hervey Bay Hospital, where the patient arrived in a stable condition. The bulk carrier Oceana continued on its voyage to Newcastle.

2016-17 was a record year for LifeFlight for lifesaving missions with its aeromedical crews, community helicopters and Air Ambulance jets performing a record 5,252 missions throughout Queensland and around the world.

LifeFlight is a community-based charity that relies on donations from the public and community support to the LifeFlight Foundation.

To support the LifeFlight Foundation visit:
https://www.lifeflight.org.au/page/support-us/