Families rescued as LifeFlight chopper fleet joins flood emergency response

The Sunshine Coast RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter crew has winched a family from the second storey of their home, after they became trapped by rising flood water in the Fraser Coast region this morning. (Sat 8th Jan)

The rescue chopper was called in, after the three people realised their house was surrounded by water and they had no way to escape.

The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) Flight Paramedic was winched down to the family, and first carefully helped an elderly couple into the rescue basket, to be hoisted to the hovering chopper.

Their son, who is aged in his twenties, was then winched into the aircraft, along with the Flight Paramedic.

The trio was uninjured and flown to a safe location, where they were taken into the care of local State Emergency Service (SES) crews.

It was the second family to be rescued in the region by the Sunshine Coast RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter crew.

At around 7.45am they were tasked to search for a family of four, forced to spend the night in their car, after they became cut off as roads flooded around them.

The chopper pilot managed to find a safe area to land and the family – a mother, father and two children -made their way on foot to the aircraft.

The family told the rescue crew, they had been driving last night (Fri night) from Proserpine to Brisbane, when at about 11pm their GPS directed them to take a turn-off, to avoid flooding.

They found themselves cut off by water in all directions, so called for help and bunkered down for the night.

Soaked and tired, but uninjured, the family was flown to the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Bundaberg base where they were assisted by Queensland Police.

While those missions were underway, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter crews made numerous attempts to reach a man who had been injured in the early hours of the morning, when he drove into flood waters in the Gympie region.

The rescue crews’ efforts were thwarted by terrible weather conditions through out the morning, until the Toowoomba-based helicopter crew managed to reach him.

The man, who is aged in his fifties, told rescuers he drove into the water at about one o’clock this morning.

He managed to get himself out of his vehicle and walked for approximately a kilometre, until he was able to find a house and call for help.

He was airlifted to Sunshine Coast University Hospital, suffering back injuries.

LifeFlight Rescue helicopters have been tasked on more than 10 flood-related missions since midnight and there are several missions still underway.

Six of the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopters have been involved in the multi-agency response to the flood emergency, working with QAS, QPS, QFES and the SES in responding to multiple, back to back calls for help from people caught in the flood zone.

The aerial response is being coordinated by Retrieval Services Queensland (RSQ) on behalf of Queensland Health.

Requests for help, started in the early hours of Saturday (8th Jan), after hundreds of millimetres of rain fell across regions north of the Sunshine Coast.

Article and video submitted  courtesy of RACQ LifeFlight Rescue


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