The crew of a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Sea King helicopter have successfully winched an injured mountain climber from the summit of Lord Howe Island’s Mount Gower on May 17, following a nearly 700km journey to complete the rescue.
Two SK50 Seakings were dispatched from Nowra-based 817 Squadron to Port Macquarie late on Monday afternoon following a request from Emergency Management Australia for Defence assistance with transporting the injured climber to the island’s local hospital. The man was subsequently moved to Mount Gower’s summit by a civilian rescue team until the Sea Kings arrived.
“To fly nearly 700km, refuel and then conduct the winch extraction of an injured climber is a great feat of airmanship,” Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Mark Evans said.
“The ground and aircrew did a fantastic job in getting two aircraft prepared and away at short notice.”
Both Sea Kings and their associated aircrew remained on Lord Howe Island overnight and were due to transit back to Nowra today (May 18).