Missing Canoeist Signals Rescuers from Beach with a Torch

RACQ CQ Rescue has used night vision goggles (NVG) to locate an outrigger canoeist stranded in the dark on an island near Shoal Point tonight.

The missing man was located waving a torch and running along a beach on Green Reef Island, about one kilometre offshore, about 9.15 pm tonight.


It is believed the man had set off on a paddle about 5 pm in his outrigger canoe and when he did not return, was reported missing to police by locals.

RACQ CQ Rescue was tasked by police at 8.45pm to a search and rescue mission for the missing man who was last seen paddling in the vicinity of Shoal Point.

An RACQ CQ Rescue spokesperson said reports of a light on Green Reef Island prompted the rescue helicopter to circle the area and the crew, who were wearing night vision goggles, quickly identified a man on the beach signalling them with a torch.

The rescue helicopter proceeded to hover overhead the island and lower a hand-held marine radio to the man to establish communication. He told the helicopter crew he had lost his paddle and sustained damage to his outrigger leaving him stranded on the island in the dark for about three hours.

Fortunately, he had a torch with him on the outrigger which he used to signal the RACQ CQ Rescue crew when he heard the helicopter flying close by. He was not injured in the incident.

An RACQ CQ Rescue spokesperson said the crew contacted Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) who were immediately dispatched to retrieve the man and his canoe from the island and return them to shore.

The rescue helicopter flew 30 nautical miles on the task and returned to base about 9.45 pm.