February story in Focus | Yacht Rescue

RACQ CapRescue performed a dramatic winch recovery off the Yeppoon coast recently, after a yacht collided with the shoreline of Miall Island. It was a high-intensity mission with aggressive weather causing immense concern for the patient. This task involved coordinating the skills and equipment from multiple rescue agencies.

Around 6am, CapRescue was alerted by an activated EPIRB from a yacht that had run aground approximately 10 miles off the Yeppoon coastline. The impact of the collision caused severe damage to the 12-meter vessel and stranded the sole occupant.

It was believed the anchor had separated in strong winds around 11pm the previous night. The emergency anchor could not be attached, and the engine could not be started, leading to the vessel being destroyed when it washed ashore.

CapRescue located the man in his 80s standing among the wreck on the shoreline, causing great concern. The Rescue Crew Officer (RCO) was winched to the scene to assess the situation further.

During the ordeal, the man received severe cuts and abrasions to his lower and upper limbs; and suffered dehydration and fatigue.

Given the condition of the man, it was decided to winch him from the bow of the broken vessel immediately rather than wait for assistance from the attending Yeppoon Coast Guard.

The RCO swiftly winched him into the aircraft, hovering 200 feet above the wreck. Rescue300 transported the man to Rockhampton Base Hospital, where he underwent further scans, treatment and close observation