Sick Fisherman Winched from Shallow Reef 120 Km Offshore

A 31-year-old Slade Point fisherman was winched from a remote reef 120km offshore today by RACQ CQ Rescue.

A seriously ill Slade Point fisherman was winched from a remote shallow reef by a Mackay-based rescue helicopter late today.

The 31-year-old man was aboard a fishing vessel near Kindemar Reef, about 120 kilometres offshore, this afternoon when he became acutely ill and was suffering extreme abdominal pain.

An emergency 000 call saw RACQ CQ Rescue, with a Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) and Rescue Crewman on board, tasked to retrieve the seriously ill man upon their return to base and refuelling after a previous mission in the Whitsundays.

An RACQ CQ Rescue crewman said the fisherman, who had a pre-existing medical condition, was relocated by his friends by a small dory from the larger boat nearby to await the arrival of medical help. He was alone in knee-deep water on shallow Pompey Reef and in considerable pain when the helicopter crew arrived on scene about 4.40pm.

A rescue crewman was winched down from the hovering helicopter on to the shallow reef where he was able to secure the fisherman into a hypo-strop. Both men were then winched up into the helicopter in a rescue which took less than 20 minutes after the helicopter arrived on the scene, the RACQ CQ Rescue crewman said.

The man was treated and administered pain relief by the paramedic on board the helicopter before being transferred to Mackay Base Hospital, arriving in a stable condition about 6.40pm.

The winch was the third mission today for the Mackay-based rescue helicopter. A 79-year-old Argentinian tourist who became ill while holidaying in the Whitsundays was airlifted by RACQ CQ Rescue late this afternoon, arriving at Mackay Airport about 4 pm and then transported to Mackay Base Hospital by road ambulance. Earlier today a 51-year-old Dysart man was transferred by the rescue helicopter from Moranbah to Mackay Base Hospital for treatment of a serious medical condition.