Seriously ill sailor airlifted from large vessel off coast
AN RACQ CQ Rescue team winched a man to safety from a 300-metre long bulk carrier after rough weather made his retrieval by boat impossible at the weekend.
The man, 22-year-old Filipino seaman was suffering from a serious abdominal condition which forced his rescue from the MV Cape Sasanqua, which was moored in the Dalrymple Bay anchorage about 27km east of Mackay.
A CQ Rescue spokeswoman said he had been battling illness for nine days when RACQ CQ Rescue was called to the vessel about 1.30pm on Saturday.
They said the helicopter took minutes to arrive on scene but was unable to land on the heli-deck due to weight restrictions.
This meant the patient had to be recovered using the winch.
"The rescue helicopter crew battled 30 knot winds and heavy seas to hover 40-foot above the bulk carrier to lower down a Critical Care Paramedic and and ready the patient for transport rescue crewman to the deck of the ship to stabilise," she said.
"Within less than 20 minutes, the ill man was winched off the vessel and up into the helicopter accompanied by the paramedic, then followed the rescue crewman."
The patient was flown directly the RACQ CQ Rescue base at the Mackay Airport and was then transferred to Mackay Base Hospital by ambulance.