RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Bundaberg conducted vital training off the Burnett Heads coastline.
RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Bundaberg conducted vital training off the Burnett Heads coastline. mike knott

LifeFlight Bundaberg flies through vital training session

BUNDABERG'S vital aeromedical crews took to the water yesterday for important water-based training sessions.

The RACQ LifeFlight Bundaberg crew joined the local Volunteer Marine Rescue group to undergo rigorous water winch exercises off the Burnett Heads coastline.

LifeFlight air crewman Chris Jowsey said the training included practise life raft drops, which would be deployed if a vessel was sinking in an emergency situation.

PREPARED: RACQ Life Flight Rescue air crewman Chris Jowsey says it's important to stay up-to-date with vital training.
PREPARED: RACQ Life Flight Rescue air crewman Chris Jowsey says it's important to stay up-to-date with vital training. Mike Knott BUN170119RACQ20

"It's an annual occurrence for vessel and water winching,” Mr Jowsey said.

"You've just got to keep abreast of slight changes that we have with procedures and equipment ... you don't want to be rusty when you're out there trying to fish someone out of the ocean.”

He said the training had been designed to prepare crews for potential emergency scenarios, and it's often similar drills every year.

"Procedures haven't changed that much,” he said.

"We have introduced a few more things to make it more dynamic and give guys a little bit more exposure.

"But apart from that, there's only so many ways you can skin a cat, so we pretty much just do the same thing most years.”

TRAINED TO GO: Bundaberg's Volunteer Marine Rescue joined the local LifeFlight crew on the water for a water winching refresher.
TRAINED TO GO: Bundaberg's Volunteer Marine Rescue joined the local LifeFlight crew on the water for a water winching refresher. Mike Knott BUN170119VMR3

He said the LifeFlight crew deals with an average of 12 Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) call outs each year.

"We probably get one AMSA task a month, and probably 50 per cent of those are over the water,” he said.

Sessions would take about 40 minutes and would cover vessel transfers, raft drop-offs and winching out of the water.

Teams would relay every instruction to the VMR vessel, which waited on the sidelines in case of an emergency.

The training was complete by noon before flying the helicopter back to base.



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