Tourist winched to safety after diving accident
A 63-YEAR-OLD Hong Kong man has been winched to safety off Hardy Reef pontoon after a routine scuba dive.
The man is believed to have ascended too quickly, causing him to inhale water while rising to the surface.
The incident occurred on Saturday, May 9
An RACQ CQ Rescue repre- sentative said the trauma team was in the air quickly and preparing for the worst, as diving mishaps often had serious after-effects, including barotrauma, a condition where tissue breaks down due to changes in pressure throughout the body. The chopper left at 2.40pm. The confined space and weight limit on the Hardy Reef pontoon meant the flying trauma team’s paramedic and rescue crew officer were winched down to treat the man and stabilise him for the flight to hospital, which arrived at 4.27pm.
Rescue crew officer Justin Craib said tasks like this were what the team trained for.
“Due to the nature of the accident it was important to transfer him to hospital as his condition had potential to worsen,” he said.
“I was winched along with the paramedic onto the pontoon, where we were able to stabilise the patient while the helicopter hovered above. Once he was prepared for flight, the air crew officer on the helicopter winched all three of us in turn.”
Once the man was safely on board the rescue helicopter, he was flown to Mackay Base Hospital for further treatment and assessment.
A Queensland Health spokeswoman said the man required no medical treatment.