A dramatic search for a missing boatie near Bribie Island and airlifting a survivor from a fatal rollover on Fraser Island were just some of the missions that kept rescue crews busy in 2020.

Sunshine Coast crews were called to 102 motor vehicle accidents, which represented an increase of almost 10 per cent.

“On average, that is two motor vehicle incidents a week which are so serious, they require an aeromedical response,” director of helicopter operations Brian Guthrie said.

Teen in hospital after crash with kangaroo
Where it fell: Storms loom after overnight soaking

RACQ spokeswoman Clare Hunter said RACQ LifeFlight Rescue attended 278 motor vehicle crashes overall, which was up nearly 15 per cent on 2019.

“Sadly, last year we also saw the highest road toll on Queensland roads since 2012 and also saw an increase in risky behaviours like high-range drink driving, high-range speeding and not wearing seatbelts,” Ms Hunter said.

“RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crews do an amazing job, but we don’t want drivers meeting them because they’ve had a crash.”

The service’s air ambulance jets, community helicopters and critical care doctors completed 1947 missions and came to the aid of 6186 people.

“The service RACQ LifeFlight Rescue provides, in Queensland, is second-to-none,” Mr Guthrie said.

“While 2020 wasn’t our busiest year overall, for our RACQ LifeFlight Rescue choppers, we’re really proud of our performance.

“Nearly 2000 lives were saved, by our rotary aircraft across Queensland, because RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crews were able to quickly respond.”

Sunshine Coast crews completed 502 critical missions, valued at more than $12.5 million.

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue attend a rollover on Fraser Island July 26, 2020.
RACQ LifeFlight Rescue attend a rollover on Fraser Island July 26, 2020.

The top five Sunshine Coast call-outs, according to illness and injury:

1) Cardiac conditions (109)

2) Motor vehicle accidents (102)

3) Neurological conditions (44)

4) Falls (including bushwalking/hiking, domestic and elderly) (34)

5) Serious illnesses/infections (27)


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