Rescue at Knuckle Reef
A WOMAN snorkelling at Knuckle Reef was rescued by the RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter after nearly drowning at the popular snorkelling site on January 15.
The woman was on a Cruise Whitsundays day trip and was with a Cruise Whitsundays snorkelling instructor when she encountered difficulty breathing while in the water.
The instructor and crew on board immediately removed the woman from the water.
She was described as responsive, with no resuscitation necessary but taken to Mackay Base hospital for treatment and discharged on Monday in a stable condition.
Cruise Whitsundays CEO Nick Hortle commended the efforts of the crew, and said Cruise Whitsundays took safety very seriously.
“We regularly conduct safe- ty drills where we have someone encounter difficulty in the water, and our crew members are required to save the person,” he said.
Mr Hortle said in the leadup to Chinese New Year “we’ve increased the frequency of these drills as customer safety is our priority”.
“We now have several crew members who can speak Mandarin as well, which helps with communicating with our influx of visitors over the next few weeks,” he said.
As for the crew members who assisted the woman, her son has sent a letter of gratitude, thanking them for their life saving actions. “I think our crew might be getting a late Christmas present soon,” Mr Hortle said. Knuckle Reef is about 50 nautical miles off the coast of Airlie Beach, and Cruise Whitsundays is the only operator that takes day trips to the site.
SNORKELLING HOTSPOT: Knuckle Reef, where a woman was air-lifted, is a popular snorkelling and dive spot operated by Cruise Whitsundays.