A motorbike rider, whose friend was injured in a crash, rode cross-country with the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter flying behind him, so he could lead the crew to his mate.
The Sunshine Coast-based crew was called into action around 3.30pm on Saturday after the motorcyclist rang emergency services for help.
He left his injured friend with another rider and made his way across rugged terrain on a property 60 kilometres west of the Sunshine Coast, to a clear area near a road, where he had phone reception.
He had a GPS and was able to provide co-ordinates for the helicopter crew to pinpoint his location.
The pilot landed the chopper and the crew agreed on a plan for the motorbike rider to lead them to the crash site.
The chopper followed the man for almost 20 minutes, flying safely above tall trees but staying low enough to keep chasing the rider.
“It’s not as easy as you might think to follow someone from the air across such a rugged area,” RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Aircrew Officer Scott Reeman said.
“We had to circle a couple of times when he disappeared into gullies and creeks. Sometimes he was hidden by trees, then we would catch up with him again and continue on our way to reach the patient,” he said.
The rescue helicopter was the first of emergency services to arrive on the scene and found the injured rider, who is aged in his 40s, still lying next to his damaged motorbike.
It is believed he had been riding with friends while on a camping trip in the Somerset region, when he came off his machine at low speed, as he crossed a rocky slope.
The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Critical Care Doctor and Queensland Ambulance Service Flight Paramedic were joined by local QAS officers in treating the patient, before he was transferred into the helicopter.
He was in a stable condition when he was airlifted to Sunshine Coast University Hospital for treatment of a suspected broken leg.
“These gentlemen did all the right things as far as safety in a remote area goes. They had all the right protective gear, they had means of communication and they had a GPS,” said Scott Reeman.