Stories of the Australian Coastal Radio Service

VIH to the rescue

This yarn happened when I was at Hobart Radio. A trawler called in from the south west coast to say that he had a very ill crewman, suspected appendicitis.

He was in very heavy weather and too far from any suitable port to take the crewman for attention, could we arrange assistance. I called the Harbour Master and MOC Canberra to let them know then called Hobart Hospital.

A Helivac was suggested and subsequently arranged. The helicopter crew phoned in and I arranged for them to come up on 2182 kHz. They set out from Hobart and immediately hit heavy weather but decided to brave it out.

I don't recall how long it took them traverse Tasmania but it seemed an eternity. In the meantime I'd arranged with the trawler to find a sheltered area in the lee of one of the nearby islands so that the crewman could be taken ashore for pick up by the helicopter. This was successfully achieved and the helicopter made the pick up.

I kept VIH open until the helicopter had landed on the oval below the Queen's Domain (where VIH was situated) then drove down to watch the ambulance take the crewman to hospital.

Ted Bastow

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