South Mackay residents and beach-goers were treated to a unique spectacle this afternoon with a rescue helicopter conducting a low-level search of and subsequent landing at Illawong Beach.
RACQ CQ Rescue located a 45-year-old man on the South Mackay beach after being tasked to join an extensive land and air search for a missing person.
The Mackay-based rescue helicopter was tasked to search for the man after a member of the public reported finding clothing belonging to the man at Illawong Beach, at South Mackay, earlier this morning.
RACQ CQ Rescue, with a paramedic and rescue crewman on board, was tasked about 2.30pm to search the beach area and river for the missing man based upon a description provided by police that he was about 180cm tall, balding and with a grey beard.
After searching the coastline for about an hour for someone matching the profile of the missing man, the crew spotted the man on sand flats adjacent to East Point.
The rescue helicopter orbited the area and signalled the man before landing on the beach nearby to further investigate.
After determining he was the missing person and contacting relevant authorities, RACQ CQ Rescue returned to base at 3.50pm.
The search for the missing man was co-ordinated by Queensland Police and also involved Volunteer Marine Rescue and SES volunteers.