Forest drama -- Paramedics winched 50m to injured trailbike rider

By SAMANTHA HEALY

A DOCTOR and a paramedic had to be winched 50 metres from a rescue helicopter into difficult terrain late yesterday in a dramatic rescue after a trailbike rider crashed in steep forest country seven kilometres north-west of Mt Warning.

The team worked to stabilise the rider who crashed over a cliff in Mebbin Forest, giving emergency aid and assessing him %before the RACQ Careflight Rescue Helicopter could fly him to hospital.

Late yesterday Brian Russell of Careflight said the 28-year-old Burleigh Heads man had a broken right collarbone and a suspected spinal injury.

"He was in pretty good spirits," Mr Russell said. "He was talking to a friend and was pretty candid, telling them he had broken his collarbone."

A Careflight rescue service spokesman said NSW Ambulance received a call to help the motorcyclist who had been injured near Mt Warning at about 1.30pm.

He said the helicopter crew was called on in case the man had to be winched out from heavily timbered country in Mebbin Forest.

Because of difficulties involved in winching the man and the medical team back to the helicopter it was decided to take the man by road to the helicopter which was waiting nearby on the Tyalgum sportsfield and airlift him to Gold Coast hospital.

It was the third serious motorbike accident requiring rescue helicopters in the Northern Rivers region yesterday.

The Careflight rescue team's sister operation, the Westpac Rescue %helicopter service based at Lismore, was called to another motorcycle accident near Grafton at the same time as the Mebbin Forest rescue was taking place.

Earlier in the day Westpac Rescue transported a Gold Coast %motorcyclist who had crashed on the Bruxner Highway, 25 kilometres east of Tenterfield, to Lismore Base Hospital.

Just after 2pm the Westpac lifesaver rescue helicopter was called to its second major mission for the day, a single motor cycle accident at Tucabia, near Grafton.

The accident victim was believed to have suffered a fractured leg.



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