The sting of jellyfish season in January was felt by swimmers off the Yeppoon coast, with CapRescue being tasked to at least two incidents where swimmers were severely stung. The first incident involved a 12-year-old boy who was stung by an Irukandji jellyfish at Great Keppel Island. The boy was in excruciating pain when the helicopter arrived. In the same week, another swimmer off Great Keppel Island, an 18-year-old woman, was stung twice on her left arm and stomach, also by an Irukandji jellyfish.
On 5 February, the Yeppoon Hospital helipad officially opened after months of lobbying by a support group led by Livingstone Shire Councillor Desley Rial. The helipad was built just metres from the Yeppoon Hospital, near Appleton Park, after multiple requests from the local QAS officers. The helipad greatly reduced the time between the patient receiving treatment from paramedics in Yeppoon to full hospital treatment in Rockhampton.
In December, just a couple of days before Christmas, an incident involving a 10-year-old boy with severe burns to his body highlighted the significance of the Yeppoon helipad. In less than an hour after the emergency call, the boy was collected from his Bungundarra property, transported by road to the Yeppoon Hospital where he was stabilised, then transported to Rockhampton Hospital by CapRescue. The helipad and the ability for CapRescue to land at Yeppoon Hospital helped save the boy’s life and many more patients throughout the years. More than 20 years on, and the patient is now an avid supporter of the service and a proud Rescue300 Club member. His family have continued to support the service in several ways including annual donations, payroll contributions, general fundraising and actively volunteering.
A 12 year old boy was airlifted off Great Keppel Island after being stung by an Irukandji jellyfish.