ALMOST THERE: An RACQ Capricorn Rescue crewman reaches the chopper with the injured hiker high above the rugged Blackdown Tableland terrain.
ALMOST THERE: An RACQ Capricorn Rescue crewman reaches the chopper with the injured hiker high above the rugged Blackdown Tableland terrain. RACQ Capricorn Rescue

Rescue chopper lifts injured hiker out of rugged bush

AN EMERALD woman with a suspected broken leg had to be winched to safety in challenging conditions after a hiking accident in Blackdown Tableland National Park on Saturday.

The 21-year-old had been hiking with a friend before slipping and falling an unknown distance.

On dusk, the RACQ Capricorn Rescue Helicopter Service set off on the two-hour rescue mission to Rainbow Falls.

A rescue crewman and intensive care paramedic were winched to the ground to assess and treat the patient for a suspected fractured lower leg and ankle injury.

RACQ Capricorn Rescue air crewman Dave Paterson said the winch recovery of the hiker was completed, under challenging conditions.

"The aircraft maintained its hover position at a far greater height than usual due to the terrain below," Mr Paterson said.

"A winch recovery carried out under these conditions can create a spin and cause the attached to lose consciousness," he said.

"A tag line was attached today to prevent this complication.

"The fact that the rescue mission was carried out in fading light contributed to the difficulty of the job."

The woman was put into a vacuum sling and an air rescue vest before being winched aboard the helicopter.

RACQ Capricorn Rescue returned to base with the patient in a stable condition.

The rescue comes a fortnight after a 30-year-old woman had to be winched from a cliff edge at Virgin Rock, near Springsure, after a bushwalking accident.


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