Injured Italian Tourist Winched From Whitehaven Beach

A young Italian tourist with a zest for adventure in paradise had to be stretcher winched from Whitehaven Beach on October 23 after seriously injuring himself falling down a cliff.


The 21-year-old man, who had been camping on idyllic Whitsunday Island, suffered serious head lacerations and leg injuries when the pine tree branch he was climbing broke and he fell about seven metres down a cliff face onto rocks.

RACQ CQ Rescue was tasked about midday and flew direct to the world-famous beach and popular anchorage, about 100km north of Mackay in the Whitsundays, with a doctor, Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) and rescue crewman on board.

The Bell 412 helicopter was forced to land on the south-eastern side of the island on a sandy shoreline in a bay adjacent to Whitehaven Beach so the crew could prepare equipment to recover the patient via a stretcher winch due to his inaccessible location on rocks.

As the helicopter then hovered overhead, the rescue crewman, paramedic and doctor were winched down onto the rocks with medical equipment and a stretcher to assess and treat the seriously injured traveller.

With 20 minutes, the doctor, paramedic and injured man, who was now secured in a stretcher basket, followed by the rescue crewman were winched up into the helicopter and flown directly to Mackay Base Hospital. The patient was in a stable condition and arrived about 3pm.

The 200km task was one of three missions completed in the Whitsundays by RACQ CQ Rescue on October 23.

Earlier that morning, the Mackay-based rescue helicopter flew to Bowen to transfer a patient with a serious cardiac condition to Mackay Base Hospital. Late this afternoon, upon return to base, the helicopter crew were again tasked to the Whitsundays to airlift a two-year-old who had been found floating face down in a pool.

RACQ CQ Rescue has completed 15 missions in just four days since clocking up a 9000th mission milestone on Saturday.