Australia-based aeromedical care provider RACQ CareFlight, part of the CareFlight Group Queensland, has released a list of the ‘six most memorable rescues’ that it has carried out.
At number one was the story of a 24-year-old woman who was lost in dense bushland in the Gold Coast Hinterland for four days. “I was wondering if anyone was even searching for me,” said Emily O’Brien, who was wearing just her bikini, and had no provisions. Luckily she was located by the CareFlight helicopter, who winched a paramedic down to retrieve her.
Number two on the list was a 20-year-old male on a fishing trip who was penetrated deep in the back of his knee joint by the bill of a swordfish, severing veins and puncturing bone. The boat was so far away from shore, however, that CareFlight had to wait for them to sail closer before they could winch the man onboard.
Then, at number three, the organisation listed the Australia Day floods in Queensland, in which dozens of stranded residents needed to be winched off the roofs of their houses to safety, including a heavily pregnant woman, her 15-month-old toddler and her husband.
At number four was a 47-year-old father of two whose rented plane crashed in a paddock near Beaudesert, ejecting him some 50 m (160 ft) from the wreckage. CareFlight transported him to hospital in Brisbane, where he spent 12 days recovering.
At number five in the list of memorable rescues was the case of a tiger that turned on its trainer at Australia Zoo, pinning the man underwater and sinking its teeth into his neck. “We landed at the back of Australia Zoo and were escorted to the tiger enclosure,” said CareFlight Doctor Andrew Haggerty. The man was taken to hospital for emergency treatment, and survived the ordeal – the tiger is still in care at the zoo.
Finally, at number six was a 17-year-old who was critically injured after crashing his motorbike into a tree south of Boonah. “I’ve been told that the speed in which the CareFlight doctor was able to get to Daniel,” said his mother Lyn, “to start treatment on his multiple injuries and then airlift him to hospital, was a big factor in his recovery. If the helicopter and crew wasn’t there, I don’t think Daniel would have made it.”
You can view a short video of the moment that Daniel hit the tree below: