Woman clinging to log plucked to safety by helicopter

A WOMAN clinging to a log in rising floodwaters at Pacific Haven, near Howard, was plucked to safety by the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter on Sunday.


A rescue helicopter spokeswoman said the elderly woman and her husband were originally in a tinny, when it flipped.

The couple clung to its upturned hull for some time before losing hold of the small vessel.

The helicopter located the pair clinging to a log in chest deep water.  

Rescue crewman Rick Harvey was winched into the floodwaters where he secured the woman before she was winched up to the helicopter.

"She couldn't swim so that was a real concern," Mr Harvey explained.

"Her husband was able to wade back to the bank and chose to go back to their home."

A small airfield nearby was used as a safe drop-off point.  

Both AGL Action Rescue Helicopters from the Bundaberg and Sunshine Coast bases have been rescuing flood-stricken families at Pacific Haven, near Howard.

The spokeswoman said the Bundaberg helicopter got airborne as the weather moved south, while the Maroochydore helicopter flew through the storm to reach the small town which had been completely cut-off by flood waters.

She said the Bundaberg helicopter winched its rescue crewman down to an elderly couple whose home was inundated with water.

The Maroochydore helicopter also winched its rescue crewman down to the house.

An elderly man, who suffered mobility issues, was secured in a hypothermic strop and winched aboard the helicopter.  

His elderly wife was also winched to safety.

The man was taken to Hervey Bay Hospital for observation.

The weather has largely cleared from the area although the flooding continues.

The spokeswoman said the rescue chopper had now been sent to Agnes Water where more people are needing to be winched to safety.

Topics:  agl burrum river flooding floods helicopters oswald pacific haven rescue

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