RACQ CQ Rescue has landed on world-famous Whitehaven Beach to airlift a UK tourist who suffered a horrific injury aboard a maxi yacht late yesterday.
The 53-year-old woman, from Birmingham, England, was holidaying aboard a 24-metre tourist vessel in the Whitsundays when the accident happened and her leg is believed to have gotten caught in a rope.
An RACQ CQ Rescue crew spokesman said the woman was dragged along the deck of the boat, smashing into handrails and equipment, and suffered a serious degloving injury to her lower leg about 4.30pm.
RACQ CQ Rescue, with a doctor and Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) on board, departed Mackay base just after 5 pm and flew about 96km north to Whitehaven Beach arriving as the sun set, landing on the sandy shoreline about 5.45pm.
The maxi yacht was moored about 500 metres offshore, so the aircraft’s medical crew were transported by an inflatable boat to tend to the patient on the deck of the vessel and administer pain relief. The woman was then transported back to the beach and loaded into the aircraft before take-off at about 7 pm.
RACQ CQ Rescue arrived at the Mackay Base Hospital with the UK tourist in a stable condition at 7.30pm.
RACQ CQ Rescue flew two other missions yesterday, including transferring a 20-year-old woman to the hospital after a horse fall near Collinsville about 2 pm and immediately after the Whitehaven Beach task, an airlift from Dysart for a very ill Middlemount man.