Man airlifted after escaping from sinking boat

A man has been airlifted to Hervey Bay Hospital, after a boat started sinking off Fraser Island overnight.

It’s believed five people were on board the boat when the bilge alarm went off, alerting them to the boat taking on water. The group tried to pump the water out, but soon realised it was coming in too fast, so they decided to deliberately run the boat aground on Orchid Beach to allow them to get ashore.

The Bundaberg-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Helicopter was tasked on a search and rescue mission around 9.30 last night - but all five people on board the boat managed to get to shore safely before the helicopter arrived.

The helicopter landed nearby, and the Queensland Ambulance Service paramedic on board assessed the group. Most had minor injuries that didn’t require further treatment, except one man who suffered a rib injury after falling onto a guard rail as the boat ran ashore.

The New South Wales man in his 60s was flown to Hervey Bay Hospital for further treatment. He travelled in a stable condition.