News & Media

Dramatic rescue at Cape Paterson

  • The Oak's
  • The scene
  • Helimed 1 makes it approach
  • Landing site
  • Step ledges and blow holes
  • Tide has started to come in
  • Ready for take off

By: Jamie Moresco

Category: Incidents - Vehicle / Rescue / Hazmat

  9.00 AM 1 January, 2014


Location: District 8 News

Views: 4745

The Oaks beach evacuated for safe landing...

A dramatic rescue unfolded on Monday 30 December 2013 when emergency services were called to The Oaks at Cape Paterson. 

A 20-year-old woman slipped on a ledge while walking with her family. Her brother raised the alarm and all the emergency services swung into action.

Paramedics, Wonthaggi and Inverloch brigade members and Wonthaggi SES raced to the scene. They were up against some challenging obstacles: an 800-metre walk along the sandy beach, five-metre ledges, slippery rocks, ascending/descending ledges and the tide starting to come in.

Police ordered the beach to be evacuated to make the scene safe for Helimed 1 to land. Air 490 was on its way, but was diverted to Venus Bay surf for a dramatic surf rescue as the patient needed medical evacuation. Brigade members along with the paramedics made the scene safe and reassured the patient that she was in safe hands.

Local Parks Victoria ranger Brian Martin was on look out for freak tide waves, as all personnel were working with their backs to the ocean.

Paramedics came up with three options to rescue the woman from the rocks.

  1. Carry her out to the beach front where the chopper could land.
  2. Winch out.
  3. Land on a rock platform (which was the option).

With the tide coming in and the swell peaking at 2.8 metres, a 30-minute time frame to have her air-lifted safely was the right decision. When the patient was securely on board, Helimed landed in a nearby paddock so paramedics could stabilise her ready for the flight to Melbourne.

Praise goes out to all involved with the rescue. It just goes to show how well everyone works together.

Agencies on scene were:

Vic Pol

Vic Pol Air Wing

Helimed 1

Ambulance Victoria (Wonthaggi branch)

Wonthaggi brigade

Inverloch brigade

Dandenong Rope Rescue

Ops Officer Peter Lucas

Wonthaggi SES

San Remo SES (stop put on them)

Parks Victoria

Last Updated: 02 January 2014