Mackay Rescue Helicopter Kept Busy Over Long Weekend

RACQ CQ Rescue has been a lifeline for five patients in their time of crisis this long weekend, flying more than 1400 kilometres to airlift them to hospital.

Since Friday, the Mackay-based rescue helicopter has transferred patients from across the region including the Whitsundays, the Bowen Basin and Clermont as well as far south as Stanage Bay. The patients ranged in age from a small toddler to their early sixties.

On Sunday night, RACQ CQ Rescue flew 120km north to Proserpine at 8 pm to transfer a Sugarloaf man with a suspected snake bite to Mackay Base Hospital. Only hours prior, the helicopter, with a doctor, paramedic and rescue crewman aboard, flew 300 kilometres south to Stanage Bay to transfer a 55-year-old woman with a cardiac condition.

RACQ CQ Rescue spokesperson Naomi Noy said the Mackay-based service’s Bell 412 helicopter landed on a grassed clearing in the tiny, isolated fishing community just after midday.

“It’s tasks like this in very remote and hard to access parts of our region when time is of the essence which prove just how critical and effective our rescue helicopter service is to save lives,” Ms Noy said.

The woman was taken to Mackay Base Hospital for further treatment and the helicopter returned to base about 3 pm.

Early Saturday, RACQ CQ Rescue was tasked to retrieve a 21-year-old Capella man from Clermont after he sustained serious head injuries in a bar fight. The helicopter arrived at Mackay Base Hospital with the patient aboard in a stable condition about 11 am.

A one-year-old with a severe medical condition was transferred from the Whitsundays to Mackay Base Hospital with his mother and father also aboard the helicopter about 6 pm on Friday, only hours after the crew had returned to base after airlifting a 62-year-old Sarina man from the Bowen Basin with a cardiac condition.