Winch retrievals on the rise

Winch retrievals are not the most common task performed by RACQ CapRescue. However, the crew have completed 4 of the more extreme methods of patient retrieval recently.
From an inland dirt track to an island destination and two cruise ships, not only does it reflect our region’s diversity, it also makes up a third of the rescues of this type in 2022 in just three weeks.

Starting on the morning of September 12th, Rescue300 was tasked to dirt tracks at Fletcher Creek, South-East of Mount Morgan. A man in his 30s was navigating a ridgeline and lost control of his motorbike.

Queensland Ambulance Service was initially on-site, treating the patient for suspected spinal injuries.

It was discovered that landing was not possible, and as a result, the Critical Care Paramedic and Rescue Crewman were winched to the scene. The patient was assessed and stabilised, and extracted by winch. He was then transported to Rockhampton Hospital for further scans and treatment.

On September 29th RACQ CapRescue was tasked, for the second time in just over a month, to a cruise liner ship, the “Coral Princess” off the Coral Coast approx. 70 miles East of Rockhampton.

A man in his 70s suffered suspected cardiac arrest while on board. On assessment by the ship’s medical team, it was decided an evacuation was required.

Rescue300 arrived, and the Rescue Crew Officer and Medical team were winched onboard to assess and further stabilise the patient.

A winch recovery was then conducted, and the man was transported to Rockhampton Hospital for further treatment.

On October 1st, only a few days later, Great Keppel Island was the destination of the rescue, where an interstate visitor had her holiday cut short when she slipped and fell on a rocky outcrop while walking with family and friends.

The woman sustained facial and lower limb injuries rendering her incapable of walking. Her family and friends could assist her to the beach, where she was winched to the helicopter. She was treated en route to Rockhampton Hospital.

Finally, on October 5th, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra tasked RACQ CapRescue to a man in his 70s suffering a suspected stroke on a Cruise Liner.

The ship, travelling from Brisbane to Papua New Guinea, was required to turn back towards a more suitable rendezvous point 142nm East of Rockhampton.

Rescue300 left the base with the crew and Paramedic on board, travelled via Heron to refuel, and then onward to the ship.

On arrival, a winch recovery was performed, and the man was stabilised and taken to Rockhampton Hospital for further treatment.

To date, in 2022, the RACQ CapRescue crew have completed 11 winch retrievals.