Drama on the high seas: A man on board the Dawn Princess is about to be airlifted to the Coffs Harbour Health Campus.
Drama on the high seas: A man on board the Dawn Princess is about to be airlifted to the Coffs Harbour Health Campus. Westpac Helicopter

Busy day of rescues for chopper

THE Westpac Rescue Helicopter made two trips to the Coffs Coast yesterday.

In the first incident, an 82-year-old man was airlifted to the Coffs Harbour Health Campus after a cardiac arrest while on the cruise ship, Dawn Princess.

The luxury liner was en-route to Airlie Beach when the ship’s medical unit was called to revive the man.

The chopper was called from its Lismore base to collect the man and bring him ashore.

Due to darkness and distance, the rescue helicopter was only able to fly at first light.

When the rescue helicopter arrived, the paramedic and doctor were winched on board.

“The rescue proved quite a challenging process as there were high winds of 35 knots,” Ambulance intensive care paramedic Rolan Murcott said.

In the second incident late yesterday, the helicopter and water police responded to calls that kayakers had been lost at sea amid a late afternoon squall.

Two kayaks were last seen off Woolgoolga Headland at about 4pm. Onlookers watched in fear as they were swept further south away from shore in the turbulent conditions.

The Water Police launched a craft from Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga Surf Lifesaving Club launched a vessel from Emerald Beach and the Marine Rescue at Woolgoolga put in from the beach adjacent to the headland.

The kayakers ultimately turned up at Coffs Harbour’s main beach apparently after completing a planned journey.



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