Australia

Tourists hurt in NW boating accident evacuated to hospital

Ambulances and medical staff have met at least a dozen tourists injured in a boating accident at the famous Horizontal Falls as they arrived at Broome Airport.

Up to 15 people, some covered in bandages, were seen disembarking a Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures aircraft at about 12pm.

It is understood they will be taken to Broome Health Campus for treatment of a variety of injuries.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service has been coordinating the evacuation and will be transporting the most seriously injured patients to Jandakot Airport in Perth, while well-known tourism operator Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventure uses its aircraft to fly injured tourists from the tourist attraction to Broome Airport.

Camera IconAmbulances and medical staff have met at least a dozen tourists – believed to have been injured in a boating accident at the famous Horizontal Falls – at Broome Airport. Credit: Jane Murphy/Supplied

A total of people — 26 tourists and two crew members a— re feared to have been injured in the serious boating incident at the iconic tourist spot, about 100km north of Derby.

Emergency services responded to reports of a vessel capsizing or running ashore in Talbot Bay, about 250km east of Broome, about 8.30am Friday.

In a statement released on Friday afternoon, tour operator Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures said it was working with authorities to help the injured passengers.

“Falls Express, guided by an experienced skipper during an early-morning tour, was involved in the incident while travelling through the falls,” the statement said.

“The vessel immediately returned to the pontoon.

“[We] are continuing to liaise with the RFDS and emergency services to manage the incident.”

Ambulances and medical staff have met at least a dozen tourists - believed to have been injured in a boating accident at the famous Horizontal Falls - at Broome Airport.
Camera IconAmbulances and medical staff have met at least a dozen tourists – believed to have been injured in a boating accident at the famous Horizontal Falls – at Broome Airport. Credit: Jane Murphy/Supplied

A WA Country Health Service spokeswoman told The West Australian the organisation was not yet aware of the extent of people’s injuries, but there are fears some are seriously hurt.

“Kimberley Hospitals are on stand-by and Broome Health Campus has activated an emergency alert in anticipation of patient arrivals – the first of which are expected within the hour,” she said.

File source

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