RACQ CQ Rescue crews flew more than 900km to retrieve an injured fisherman from a remote reef.
RACQ CQ Rescue crews flew more than 900km to retrieve an injured fisherman from a remote reef. Emma Murray

Rescue crew's 10 hour mission to save fisherman

AN RACQ CQ Rescue crew flew more than 976km to to winch an injured man from a fishing charter on a reef.

The 69-year-old man suffered a fall and hit the back of his head while on board a vessel on a remote reef near Heron Island.

A spokesperson for RACQ CQ Rescue said the man suffered seizures and was in and out of consciousness.

The Mackay chopper was tasked to the 10-hour mission yesterday afternoon due to the Rockhampton helicopter being unavailable.

RACQ CQ Rescue head to Swain Reef, off the coast of Mackay.
RACQ CQ Rescue head to Swain Reef, off the coast of Mackay. RACQ CQ Rescue

Onboard the helicopter was a a doctor, critical care paramedic and rescue crewman. The team was tasked about 1.15pm and flew directly to Gladstone and then Heron Island, refuelling at both locations.

From Heron Island, the team travelled 120km north-east to meet the Eastern Voyager charter where the rescue began.

A paramedic and rescue crewman were winched onto the 25-metre long vessel with medical equipment.

An RACQ CQ Rescue spokesperson said the pair stretchered the injured man into the helicopter and began the journey to Rockhampton Base Hospital.

The team arrived at 6.40pm. The patient was in a stable condition.

"The charter boat was believed to be returning to Gladstone as relatives of the injured man were still on board,” the spokesperson said.

"The mission took a marathon 10 hours to complete and required the Bell 412 to be refuelled four times including at Gladstone, Heron Island twice and Rockhampton.”

The RACQ CQ Rescue team returned to base in Mackay at 9.45pm.