A CHC Helicopter pilot and crew, along with a paramedic, have been recognized for a 2016 rescue near Israelite Bay in Western Australia, the company said. They received a Commendation Award at the National SAR Awards in Canberra.
Rescue 651 and a St. John Ambulance paramedic rescued a 27-year-old man with a broken leg off a vessel Nov. 6, 2016. CHC said that in high-wing and heavy-swell conditions, pilot Craig Bowman, aircrew Garth Fitzgerald and critical-care paramedic Ben Harris retrieved the injured fisherman using a winch transfer from the vessel. The crew is part of the team that operates Western Australia’s rescue helicopter service on behalf of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
CHC said the crew had about 10 minutes before last light to complete the mission and pull the paramedic and patient onto the Bell Helicopter 412. Reguel and ground support assistance was provided by Esperance Volunteer Marine Service and SES volunteers and DFES personnel. The helicopter flew on night vision to get the man back to Esperance and transfer him to a Royal Flying Doctor Service aircraft for the transfer to Royal Perth Hospital.
Watch CHC’s footage of the rescue: