Rescue crews test water winch skills ready for summer

RACQ CareFlight Rescue practice their winch skills

RACQ CareFlight Rescue practice their winch skills
RACQ CareFlight Rescue practice their winch skills (Image Courtesy RACQ CareFlight Rescue)

RACQ CareFlight Rescue crews today underwent a rigorous training session to refine their water winch skills in preparation for summer. The Sunshine Coast helicopter rescue crew tested a series of rescue techniques off the coast of Mooloolaba. The spectacular display doubles as a training drill to ensure every crew member is ready to rescue at a moment’s notice.
The training involved the deployment of dummy life rafts and winching “survivors” to safety in a mock ocean rescue.
For the first time, this training was conducted with the support of the Mooloolaba Yacht Club which committed a vessel to the exercise. The crews practised winching to and from the vessel using a technique referred to as ‘tag lining’. A tag line is useful when winching to vessels with hazardous obstructions, like the mast of a yacht, and allows the winch cable to be manoeuvred without the pilot repositioning the aircraft.
RACQ CareFlight Rescue’s Check and Training Pilot, David Smith, said the training ensures the crew is prepared, no matter what the conditions.
“Last summer, CareFlight winched families from their flooded homes and sick or injured passenger’s from boats,” Mr Smith said.
“Today’s training is vital to ensure the currency of our crew is at the highest standard.”
“It was also a great way for the public to see the crew in action, get a real feel for our work and a better appreciation of where their donations go.”
RACQ CareFlight Rescue relies on the generosity of the community to continue its lifesaving work. The public can donate by visiting