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March 26, 2023

Westpac Helicopter and Brunswick Volunteer Rescue Crew at Cape Byron

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A 15-year-old boy and a medical crew were winched up a cliff face at Cape Byron on Saturday. Photo courtesy Brunswick Valley & District Volunteer Rescue.

The third rescue Brunswick Volunteer Rescue Crew have undertaken in the last few months at Cape Byron, ended with the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter winching a 15-year-old to safety after he and another young man were attempting to walk around the headland to Wategos.

The boy is reported to have fallen from a cliff face and the helicopter winched a critical care paramedic and doctor to the site at about 2pm on Saturday, where they treated and stabilised the boy who had a critical head injury.

The medical crew and patient were winched out from the base of the cliff and flown to Gold Coast University Hospital.

The Brunswick Volunteer Rescue Crew lowered a rescue operator to the second young man and secured him, before hauling him up the cliff after the helicopter had departed.

Other than shock the second young man was uninjured, but Brunswick Volunteer Rescue Crew members had to wait a long time with him until the helicopter rescue was complete, as the cliffs at that point are covered in loose shale that would have fallen onto the paramedics below.

It might appear easy to climb from the bottom, but the rock soon gives way to gravel and shale that even trained volunteers find difficult to negotiate, even at the end of a safety rope and wearing a harness.

There are currently no updates on the condition of the boy, who was operated on last night and is now heavily sedated as doctors wait for the swelling on his brain to subside.

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  1. We are very lucky to have this ~$15million helicopter, its pilots and medical team on hand.
    Then we have the GCUH public hospital helipad as a fast entry to medical care.
    An incredible country we live in.

    The AgustaWestland AW139 weighs 7 tonnes and can hold four patients lying down with medical staff able to move along a narrow aisle.
    Its top cruise speed is 310 kph

    • Too true Tim, but we are also very fortunate to have the totally volunteer, well-trained Bruns Volunteer Rescue team. They are not paid, pay or fundraise for their own training and expensive equipment, and always respond to those in need.

  2. It’s fantastic that the Brunswick Valley & District Volunteer Rescue Association yet again are there to help
    They seem to often respond to all sorts of emergency incidents and it must take a lot of man unpaid man hours to provide timely emergency support to their community and visitors.


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