DRAMATIC RESCUE: A 16-year-old was winched from Mount Walsh yesterday around 5pm after falling unconscious during a school hike.
DRAMATIC RESCUE: A 16-year-old was winched from Mount Walsh yesterday around 5pm after falling unconscious during a school hike. RACQ LifeFlight

Teen collapses on Mt Walsh, airlifted to hospital

A HERVEY Bay teenager has been airlifted to safety after collapsing on Mt Walsh during a school hike yesterday afternoon.

The Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight helicopter was called into action at around 4pm after the 16-year-old collapsed around halfway up the mountain due to dehydration, according to North Burnett SES Local Controller Brian Lowe.

Mr Lowe said Biggenden QAS and QFES staff were escorted up the mountain to the stricken teenager by two school teachers, where the patient was stabilised before a decision was made to contact the helicopter due to the steepness of the track.

A Queensland Ambulance Service flight paramedic assisted in hoisting the patient up to the helicopter.

She was flown to Hervey Bay Hospital at around 5pm, in a stable condition but suffering nausea, dehydration and exhaustion.

SES teams from Biggenden, Gayndah, Gin Gin and Childers were all called to assist at the scene.

In April, the Bundaberg LifeFlight helicopter was also called to Mt Walsh after a woman in her 50s suffered a suspected broken leg after falling.

In July 2018, a 24-year-old slipped and fell around 15m near the summit, suffering leg, neck and back injuries.

According to the Department of Environment and Science's Parks and Forests portfolio, 'The Bluff' walking track to the Mt Walsh summit is a Class 4 track, transitioning to a Class 5 track.

Class 5 tracks are defined by Parks and Forests as being a "steep track with irregular surface and loose stones... (requiring a) high level of physical fitness... (and) high-quality, ankle-supporting footwear with flexible soles and good grip”.

"Considerable exposure to the elements may be experienced,” Parks and Forests said.

Mr Lowe said Class 5 hikes are the "toughest climb you can do without being in harnesses”.

"A lot of people really don't realise that, they don't seek out any other information and they arrive with a bunch of young children and think, 'Oh, well, 700m to the top, we'll take the kids up there,'” Mr Lowe said.


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