'Nah it's just a goat' but island caller did the right thing
WHITSUNDAY Volunteer Marine Rescue were on the water responding to an emergency call with a difference at Nara Inlet on Wednesday evening.
Whitsunday VMR were advised a crew on a charter boat had heard what sounded like a call for help from someone in the hills on the eastern side of Nara Inlet.
However the bleating call of a goat, amplified by hills and rugged terrain, was the only sound to be heard on the uninhibited island.
The noise was also reported to the Queensland Ambulance Service and paramedics ready to assist and evacuate if required.
Skipper of VMR1, Mal Priday reported moderate seas and a south-east wind blowing at 15-20 knots when departing Abell Point Marina at 6pm.
Reaching Nara Inlet on Whitsunday Island 45 minutes later VMR1 pulled alongside and picked up the caller so the crew could be directed to the right area.
"Our tender was launched and with two crew, the paramedic and the caller on board proceeded to the contact point to try and locate the person requiring assistance,” Mr Priday said.
The search however turned up nothing and crews were stood down.
The next morning VMR was tasked with transferring SES personnel to Nara Inlet for a foot search for a possible missing person.
After being met by the Water Police RHIB at Nara Inlet the VMR crew was stood down once again.
"After discussions with the caller, the consensus was that he had heard a goat or goats, and VMR1 returned to Abell Point about 8.30am,” he said.
Though this activation was a false alarm, Mr Priday said the caller did the right thing.
"He thought he had heard someone in distress and rightly reported it. If in doubt, you are always better off to take the safer option and not just hope everything is okay.”
"Imagine if you were out there, lost and injured, and somebody nearby thought 'nah....probably just a goat'," he said.