Heli rescue and Coast Guard making waves in Keppel Bay
WHEN Colleen Hooker's husband and father of her two children takes to the water, she is comforted to know there is help at hand.
The former Gold Coast recently turned Yeppoon resident joined dozens of spectators at Wreck Point today as the RACQ Capricorn Rescue helicopter trained with the local Coast Guard.
All pilots, air and rescue crew members cycled through a series of operations as we enter a "severe weather season”.
We've just come to the area so we have come to check out the helicopter rescues so we can teach the kids how it all works,” Colleen said.
"And we made a donation today as well.
"(The services are) very important, especially when its in bad whether, my husband and their father goes out on the ocean all the time so its good to know that that's out there for him.”
RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue public relations and community coordinator Kirsty Wooler said the organisation averaged one rescue per day, but with more people on the roads and the water, that peaked up to 1.3-1.5 per day.
"At this time of year obviously there's a lot more people out on the water recreeationally, so we do see a peak in marine water rescues,” she said.
"So the crew today are just going through some scenarios where they are winching people both off vessels and also out of the ocean.
"It really gives both ourselves and the services we use in real life scenario the chance to practice and train together and really just brush up on those skills.
Yeppoon Coast Guard coxswain Elizabeth Goodsell has volunteered for 12 years, and said the partnership between both services was vital to the coastal community and wider region.
"They need practice to lower and raise people into the water and also to practice people off the back of boats, it's not just capsizing boats, people sometimes become sick so they need to be taken off the water and taken back to the hospital,” she explained.
"So today the Coast Guard are there and they are using their boat because its obviously good practice for that sort of thing as well.”
She said on average, they performed 130 rescues each year.
"Which is quite phenomenal really for this area, but most boat people are good, they maintain their boats well and that's what we ask them to do especially for safety,” she said.
She said as the weather warms up and boaties become keen to get out on the water, she urged safety remain at the forefront.
"Just make sure you have all your safety equip and make sure you tell someone where you are going and what time you are likely to come back, especially the Coast Guard,” She said.
"We don't mind if you are phoning, radioing, whichever way, come see us before you leave we don't mind .
"Please always remember to tell us you are coming back or have arrived safely because otherwise we go looking for you.”