The Cairns Post

Summer warning as chopper called to three Far North rescues


EMERGENCY services around Far North Queensland were kept busy at the weekend, with the Rescue 510 helicopter tasked to three serious incidents, including a 29-year-old man who fell more than 10m down a waterfall.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Superinten­dent Craig Smith said the incidents were a timely reminder for people to be aware and prepared when heading into the great outdoors.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoma­n said on Saturday two men had fallen 10-12m down a waterfall at Murray Falls, south of Tully, about 3pm.

While one of the men did not require transport to hospital, a second man was flown to Cairns Hospital in a serious but stable condition with pelvic, leg and shoulder injuries. He had to be winched out by the Rescue 510 chopper and was in a stable condition on Sunday afternoon.

The helicopter was also called to assist with a “medical incident” about 12.50pm that occurred on the Walsh’s Pyramid walking track, reportedly about 1km up the mountain.

Paramedics and firefighte­rs made the trek to the patient, before they were winched out and flown to Cairns Hospital. And just before that, the helicopter was also called to airlift a man after a near-drowning at Crystal Cascades.

Emergency services had to perform CPR on him and a Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoma­n said that the patient, a 19-year-old, was taken to hospital in a serious condition. He is now in a stable condition in Cairns Hospital.

Superinten­dent Smith said that at this time of year, high temperatur­es and high humidity meant people had to have adequate water supplies with them to ensure they stayed hydrated.

He cautioned against heading out into the bush in the middle of the day with above-30C temperatur­es and high humidity.

“It’s a recipe for danger,” he said. People who were walking close to rocks and waterfalls should be making sure they were always mindful of their footing, he said.

Superinten­dent Smith said that as the Far North headed into the wet season, people should also be aware of their surroundin­gs when swimming in creeks and waterholes.

“Just because it’s not raining … where they are, it could be raining further up the hill – which leads to a risk of flash flooding,” he said.

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