A QANTAS plane en route from Hervey Bay to Brisbane was one of the first aircraft on the scene during a daring rescue mission off Fraser Island on Sunday.

Five men were winched to safety by an RACQ CareFlight helicopter after their catamaran capsized off the northern end of Fraser Island.

A spokeswoman for QantasLink said flight QF2379 was leaving Hervey Bay when it was diverted to the rescue area for 30 minutes, in response to Search and Rescue calls.

She said the QantasLink captain established VHF radio communication with the rescue chopper as five survivors from the boat were winched off one at a time.

QantasLink captain James Graham said he was happy to have been of assistance in providing communications support.

The catamaran reportedly capsized when water flooded the vessel and the engine failed.

The Bundaberg RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter responded to the incident at 3pm on Sunday after a distress beacon was detected by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

A Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules and a Water Police vessel from Hervey Bay were also tasked by AMSA to respond.


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