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Helicopter crew completes rescue of injured WA fisherman

Monday 7 November 2016
A seriously injured cray fisherman was winched to safety overnight in high seas off Israelite Bay in Western Australia in a search and rescue operation coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
Media Release

Following a triple zero call and communications with Western Australia Police, AMSA tasked the Department of Fire and Emergency Service Rescue Helicopter 651, crewed with St John’s Ambulance Service paramedics, from Perth around 1pm local time on Sunday 6 November 2016.

At the time of the rescue, the commercial fishing vessel with two persons on board, including the patient, was located 80 kilometres northeast of Israelite Bay in Western Australia in 4-5 metre seas and winds of up to 30 knots.

The patient had sustained a life-threatening injury.

In a remarkable feat, the helicopter crew arrived on scene at last light and winched the patient off the vessel around 6.30 pm.

With the nearest major trauma centre more than 250 kilometres away, AMSA arranged a refuelling stop for the helicopter in the remote town of Condingup 58 kilometres east of Esperance.

A tractor and trailer with fuel rendezvoused with the helicopter in a paddock in Condingup at 7.20 pm.

Following the refuelling, the patient was stabilised at Esperance Hospital at 9.20 pm, and later transferred by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Royal Perth Hospital for further medical treatment.

AMSA would like to thank all involved for their contribution to the rescue operation.