Two men honoured after Sir McCamley's horror chopper crash
WHEN a helicopter crashed on a Marlborough property, two men saved the life of cattle baron Sir Graham McCamley, who was trapped in the burning wreckage.
Tom Koch-Emmery and Luke Walters were yesterday awarded the bravery medal and the commendation for brave conduct respectively.
On the morning of October 3, 2007, Mr Koch-Emmery and Mr Walters rescued Sir Graham from the crash on the 40,469ha Tartrus Station, 100km north-west of Rockhampton.
Mr Koch-Emmery was on a motorbike helping to muster cattle when he heard the tail rotor of Sir Graham's Robinson R44 helicopter, used to herd cattle, strike the upper branches of a nearby tree.
Mr Koch-Emmery quickly avoided the helicopter as it spun out of control before crashing violently and bursting into flames.
He ran to the helicopter and saw a badly injured Sir Graham.
He entered the cockpit and freed Sir Graham, pulling him out of the burning aircraft. When Mr Walters arrived at the scene, he helped Mr Koch-Emmery carry the cattle baron from the wreckage.
They were only metres away when the helicopter exploded.
Shrapnel and debris was flung in all directions.
Sir Graham was placed in the recovery position and his condition assessed before Mr Koch-Emmery rode 4km to the homestead to raise the alarm.
Marlborough paramedics were first on scene, treating Sir Graham until the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service arrived to airlift him to Rockhampton Hospital.
At the time of the crash, Mr Koch-Emmery told The Morning Bulletin Sir Graham flew the aircraft about five days a week, finding it a handy way to get around the family's central and north-west Queensland properties.