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Helicopter called in to rescue grandfather at Rainbow Beach

Craig Warhurst

A DECISION to take his two granddaughters for a walk down the front of the Carlo Sandblow turned into a remarkable operation to rescue a Brisbane man on Thursday.

The 70-year-old, who was on holidays with his extended family at Rainbow Beach, became stuck on the steep sand cliffs just after lunch and had to be rescued by the AGL Helicopter.

After visiting the sand blow with his family he decided to walk the girls down the 60m high sand cliffs, at the front of the sand mass, to the beach below.

The rest of the family drove to the beach to pick the man and girls up.

The grandfather had holidayed at Rainbow Beach before and had climbed down the front of the blow about 20 years ago.

Unfortunately he hadn't factored in changes to the cliff face in that time and got caught about a third of the way down when he reached a severe drop off.

The girls were able to get off the sand cliff to safety but the grandfather found the going too hard.

"The problem was I couldn't get down," he said after the rescue.

"I tried to go back up but at 70 you take five steps forward and go three steps back."

A relative at the scene said it was too much of a health risk for the grandfather to go any further.

For safety reasons they called authorities.

A Tin Can Bay police officer was first to check on the man.

He climbed down to assess the grandfather before the helicopter picked him up.

On arrival, the helicopter sent down a crew member to put the grandfather in a basket and it then winched him off the sand cliff.

The grandfather thanked everyone involved in the rescue, although he thought a rope to help him up the sand hill would be all they needed.

"The guys did a fantastic job," he said.

"I can't thank them enough."

 

1.30pm: RESCUERS have been forced to bring in a helicopter to retrieve a grandfather who became stuck half way down a massive sand dune at Rainbow Beach.

The man got into trouble shortly after midday today after trying to down the dune at the Carlo Sand Blow with his two teenaged grandchildren.

His grandchildren made it down safely, but the man had to be winched off the dune.

At first rescuers thought he could be brought down using State Emergency Services volunteers with harness and rope, but then it was decided to bring in a helicopter.

Topics:  rescue


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