The RACQ CQ Rescue chopper airlifted a man from Hook Island last night. His partner helped to crew locate them.
The RACQ CQ Rescue chopper airlifted a man from Hook Island last night. His partner helped to crew locate them.

Tourist rescued from island after horror campfire mishap

AN INTERSTATE tourist has sustained horror burns across 20 per cent of his body after a camping mishap in the Whitsundays.

RACQ CQ Rescue was en route to Mackay about 7.30pm yesterday on another job when the crew was tasked to respond to a Triple-0 call about a patient suffering serious burns who required immediate aeromedical retrieval from Hook Island, 117km off the Mackay coast.

A spokeswoman from the rescue service said the 33-year-old man from Victoria had been hiking and camping with his partner on the island when boiling hot water from a campfire spilled in his lap late yesterday.

"(The) rescue helicopter crew made contact with the man's partner on the island via a mobile phone and she was instructed to light up their camp site … with torches and lamps to enable the crew to easily identify their exact position," the spokeswoman said.

RACQ CQ Rescue pilot Doug White said the woman dragged her partner from the ocean, where he had been sitting to cool the burns on his thighs, abdomen and genitalia, onto the beach as the helicopter approached the island in the dark with its search light on.

Unable to land on the island, a Critical Care Paramedic was winched down onto the island to administer immediate pain relief and secure the injured man in an Air Rescue Vest.

The chopper arrived at Mackay Airport about 9pm where it was met by an ambulance.

An RACQ CQ Rescue spokesperson said the man may be flown to a specialist burns unit at Brisbane today.

Volunteer Marine Rescue attended Hook Island last night to retrieve the man's partner, who had to be left behind by the rescue chopper.