Drone interrupts rescue mission at Gold Coast Seaway

UPDATE @ 1.45 PM | A helicopter pilot was forced to hold off rescuing a man from the Gold Coast Seaway after a recreational drone got in the way.

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter was dispatched to winch the man out of the seaway after his tinny smashed into a rock wall about 9am.

But the chopper pilot was forced to delay the rescue for a number of minutes until a drone flying in the airspace had landed.


The incident has renewed calls for people to exercise caution when flying drones in and around the South East Queensland coastline.

“For us, drones can be near impossible at times to spot on patrol and during rescue operations, so we’re really urging drone operators to exercise caution, particularly when we’re flying nearby,” Westpac Helicopter crewman Tim Wilson said.

“The rescue was delayed by a few minutes today until we could safely reach the gentleman below; thankfully it didn’t change the overall outcome, but in different circumstances those few minutes could make all the difference,” he said.

After being winched to safety, the elderly man was treated by Queensland Ambulance paramedics before being taken to Gold Coast University Hospital in a stable condition.

EARLIER @ 11.30 AM | A MAN has been airlifted to safety after crashing his tinny at the Gold Coast Seaway this morning.

It’s understood the small boat washed onto a rock wall around 9.00am.

A Queensland Ambulance spokesperson said one person sustained leg injuries after falling from the boat onto rocks.

He’s since been taken to Gold Coast University Hospital in a stable condition.