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Survivors recovered from Curtis Island helicopter crash

Sunday 19 March 2017
Two survivors have been recovered from a helicopter crash on Curtis Island in Queensland following an overnight search and rescue operation coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
Media Release

The pilot and passenger of a privately-owned Bell Jet Ranger 206 helicopter were transferred to Rockhampton shortly before midnight on Saturday, 18 March for medical treatment after sustaining serious injuries in the crash, which is believed to have occurred around midday on Friday, 17 March in the shallows of Keppel Creek.

Luggage belonging to the pilot and passenger washed ashore some distance from the crash site and was discovered by a member of the public on Saturday, who alerted Gladstone Police.

Gladstone Police tasked the RACQ Capricorn Rescue Helicopter to search the area and around 5 pm on Saturday more luggage was located with identifying information. Aided by trip details from the pilot’s family and commercial tracking data for the helicopter, AMSA re-tasked the RACQ Capricorn Rescue Helicopter to the Keppel Creek area on the northeast of Curtis Island, where the helicopter crew located the wreckage and both survivors shortly after 11 pm.

The two men left Caboolture, about 40 kilometres north of Brisbane on Friday morning for a fishing trip to Curtis Island.