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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Lake Macquarie medi-vac operation assists ill man at sea

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers are ready around-the-clock to save lives on the water, with a medi-vac operation overnight ensuring an ill man at sea reached medical assistance.

Just before midnight, on Saturday 17 April, Marine Rescue Sydney received a call for help from a sloop with five people on board, about 16 nautical miles south of Lake Macquarie, after a crew member, 49, appeared to have suffered a medical episode.

Photo: Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie

A crew from Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie was assembled and deployed in a 7 knot WSW wind and sea fog with two NSW Ambulance paramedics on board to rendezvous with the boat, which made for Lake Macquarie.

The NSW Police Force helicopter PolAir was deployed to keep watch until rescue vessel Lake Macquarie 30 (LM 30) was on scene with the sloop, which had activated its EPIRB.

In a challenging manoeuvre in the swell, the crew of LM 30 came alongside so the paramedics could board the yacht to assess the patient before he was transferred to the rescue vessel.

LM 30 proceeded back to shore, arriving to meet a waiting ambulance at the Swansea RSL wharf about 4am.

The sloop continued north to Port Stephens.

The crew on board LM 30 was John Hatton, Rob Mackenzie and Lee Baines, with communications support from Doyle Knudsen at MR Sydney and Malcolm Watson at MR Lake Macquarie.

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