Res­cue at Knuckle Reef

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Kathryn Cy­gan

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.

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