RACQ CQ Rescue has winched a tourist to safety after she fell at popular island lookout near Whitehaven Beach today.
The 31-year-old Victorian woman is believed to have climbed over a safety barrier at a lookout on Whitsunday Island to take a photo of the world-famous beach when she dropped her water bottle, lost her balance and fell about three metres onto rocks below.
RACQ CQ Rescue was already en route to Proserpine to transfer a patient to Mackay Base Hospital when they were diverted to the accident scene at the southern end of Whitsunday Island just after midday.
An RACQ CQ Rescue spokesperson said the rescue helicopter landed briefly at Hamilton Island to unload a stretcher and doctor and to reconfigure the aircraft for a winch task, before departing and arriving at Whitsunday Island about 12.30 pm. After a number of circuits to survey the scene, an RACQ CQ Rescue paramedic was winched down as the helicopter hovered overhead and used an ARV (rescue vest) to retrieve the injured woman from the rock face. He was then followed ‘down the wire’ by a rescue crewman.
The woman suffered a head injury and was treated on scene for a severe laceration above her right eye and multiple cuts and abrasions, the spokesperson said. The paramedic and patient were then winched into the helicopter, followed by the rescue crewman.
After another quick landing to retrieve the service’s doctor and stretcher from Hamilton Island, the rescue helicopter transferred the injured tourist to Proserpine Hospital, arriving about 1.20 pm.