News

'Traumatic': Lifeguard helps rescue plane crash survivors

A FATAL plane crash had all the ingredients for a chaotic scene, but an Agnes Water lifeguard says it was far from it.

Crediting the work of the level-headed and calm emergency rescue crew, Guy Holling said the victims received the best possible care.

>> EXCLUSIVE: Plane owner reveals moments before fatal crash

Shortly after a plane crashed at a beach at Middle Island at 10.45am on Tuesday, the Agnes Water lifeguard sprung into action.

The crash killed a 29-year-old woman and left three others in hospital. The pilot, 64-year-old Agnes identity Les Woodall is in a serious condition at Royal Brisbane Hospital.

A 21-year-old passenger from Ireland, also in a critical condition, is receiving treatment at a Brisbane hospital, while a 13-year-old boy is stable at Rockhampton Hospital.

But Mr Holling said, considering the damage and the seriousness of the crash, it was "the best possible outcome".

>> 'Incredible': Rescuers amazed anyone survived horror plane crash

>> 'Engine failure' investigated as possible cause of crash

The 28-year-old responded on a jetski with rescue equipment and when he arrived paramedics and emergency chopper crews were already there.

JOY FLIGHT: Tourist plane crashed at Middle Island today.
JOY FLIGHT: Tourist plane crashed at Middle Island today. RACQ

"At no point did it seem on the scene there was any loss of confidence or disorganisation, everyone was on it," Guy said.

"The way everyone conducted themselves ... I'm sure those people from the plane had the best possible outcome."

Guy was called to the accident shortly after it happened, with little information other than the remote location.

With no access via boat Guy was called to use the surf lifesaving jetski to access the crash site.

When he arrived a rescue helicopter had already landed and paramedics were treating the four passengers.

"I found them just south of the headland," the new Agnes Water resident said.

Lifegard Guy Holling made the long trip to the plane crash on a jet ski.
Lifegard Guy Holling made the long trip to the plane crash on a jet ski. Mike Richards GLA100117PLANE

"I just gave whatever assistance I could, which was mostly helping carry things around and loading patients in the helicopters.

"I've worked with (the rescue helicopter crews) once before and the things they're capable of doing while keeping their heads straight and organising a scene is incredible."

Describing the incident as "traumatic" the young lifeguard said it was a whole-community approach to help give the passengers the best care possible.

He credited 1770 LARC owner Neil Mergard, who helped transport police, paramedics and fire and rescue crews to the beach.

"(Neil) also had a tour boat that he cancelled just so he could help out ... That's a selfless act."

With seven years experience as a lifeguard, Guy said he was prepared for the worst after the crash call.

"I have a fair bit of experience on a jetski with rescue operations," he said.

"Going through that river mouth in shallow waters is easier with the jetski because you don't need that clearance for a prop."

The American moved to Agnes Water in September as a full-time employed lifeguard.

Topics:  agnes water editors picks lifeguard plane crash seventeen seventy surf lifesaving queensland


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Ballina koalas faced with extinction

Ballina's koalas are under threat.

About 36,000 koalas left in NSW face an uncertain future

An emotional Mike Baird: 'There was great personal cost'

"After 10 years in public life, this moment for me has arrived."

Surfer calls for second shark net off one coastal town

SIGNS OF SUPPORT: Young protesters make their opinions clear at a rally in support of shark nets at Ballina last November. More than 500 people attended the event calling for the immediate installation of the nets. PHOTO: ALINA RYLKO/ THE NORTHERN STAR

Kids surfing near the Lennox Hotel are at risk of shark encounters

Local Partners

41-year-old playgroup under threat of closing down

IT'S been an important part of the Ballina community for decades, but this playgroup could be forced to shut its doors.

See turtles up close on rescue centre tour

SPLASH: This green sea turtle, held by Australian Seabird Rescue general manager Kath Southwell, splashed some of the children on a tour of seabird rescue's headquarters.

The turtles don't mind giving the tour groups a splash, too

Shrek on stage

POPULAR MUSICAL: Shrek (River Fullagar) interrupts the wedding, shocking Fiona (Hillary Goodsell), the Bishop (Grace Pateman) and a furious Farquaad (Lachlan McGeary) in the Ballina Players' latest production.

The best-known green ogre is the star in Ballina Players production

Humble Cortina expected to shine at show

BOYS TOYS: Members of the North Coast Street Machines (from left) Errol Beaumont, Steven Fitness, Les Eckersley and John Stanford are ready for this Sunday's show and shine in Ballina, with their vehicles (from left) 1964 EH Holden, 1962 S Series Valiant, 1934 Ford, 1969 XW GT Falcon and a 1974 L Cortina.

There aren't many who can say they own thefirst car they bought

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!