RACQ helicopter rescues stranded family

RACQ CQ Rescue has airlifted a family of seven, including two young children, from a flood ravaged property in Blue Mountain, south of Mackay.

Two adults and five children, aged between 16 and 10 months old, flagged down the rescue helicopter using torches after their property on Sarina-Marlborough Road was inundated by flood waters from Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

Crews aboard managed to airlift the weary family to Sarina High School oval where they were met by police.

RACQ CQ Rescue was then called to airlift another family from Koumala off the Bruce Highway, with reports they needed emergency assistance from rising flood waters.

RACQ Crewman Arno Schoonwinkel said the area was ‘annihilated’ by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

“There’s a huge amount of water lying about and cane paddocks are all completely washed out. There’s debris everywhere like chairs and tables from inside people’s houses just floating in the middle of paddocks,” he said.

“We went to one house this morning at Koumala that was strewn with debris from inside and the water was still roaring through the house and three quarters of the way up the walls.”

The family had already evacuated the property by the time RACQ CQ Rescue attended the scene.

A second RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter was tasked to Nebo to airlift a mother and her newborn baby, born in the Nebo Ambulance station during Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.