Ill Tourist Airlifted From Whitehaven Beach

RACQ CQ Rescue has retrieved a West Australian tourist from Whitehaven Beach early on May 2 after she became ill on board a luxury yacht.

The 26-year-old woman, from Broome, was a passenger on board a 26-metre super yacht cruising in the Whitsundays and had been sick for a few days before calling 000 early this morning.

 RACQ CQ Rescue departed base at Mackay Airport at 7am and arrived on scene at Tongue Point, on Whitsunday Island, within 30 minutes. The yacht with the patient on board was anchored on the eastern side of Whitsunday Island.

The rescue helicopter crew, who were in radio contact with the boat via Vessel Traffic Services (VTS), decided it was not possible to land on the island’s beach due to the tide or to winch the patient from the vessel.

The crew concluded the safest and quickest means of retrieving the patient was to have her brought ashore by a tender to meet the aircraft’s rescue crewman.

The RACQ CQ Rescue rescue crewman completed a hover exit (exiting the aircraft as it hovered about one foot above the sand and rocks on the island’s shore) and was deposited on the beach as the helicopter took off to complete a quick orbit of the island.

The rescue crewman prepared and briefed the patient and upon the helicopter’s return, escorted the ill woman into the hovering helicopter. The entire retrieval process took less than five minutes.

The woman was flown to Mackay Airport in a stable condition arriving at 8am and was taken to hospital by road ambulance.