Filipino sailor rescued by RACQ CQ Rescue

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Australian rescue service RACQ CQ Rescue carried out a testing rescue on 8 August, when a sailor fell ill on a 300-metre long bulk carrier in deteriorating weather conditions.

The boat, MV Cape Sasanqua, was shored around 27km east of Mackay. The 22-year-old Filipino sailor had been ill for nine days before the decision was made to evacuate him from the ship. The service was tasked with the rescue around 13:30 hrs.

The crew was able to swiftly reach the vessel, but weight restrictions meant that it was unable to land on the helideck. The crew was then forced to winch the crew member up to the helicopter.

The helicopter was buffeted by 30-knot winds as it hovered above the ship’s deck, but it was able to send down a critical care paramedic and rescue crewman down to the boat to stabilise the patient.

The crew was able to attend to the patient within 20 minutes and he was then winched up to the helicopter, 40 feet above the ship. The sailor was then transferred back to the RACQ CQ Rescue base at Mackay Airport due to the inclement weather, before being transferred by ground ambulance to Mackay Base Hospital.

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