Byron bats disrupt rescue bid

LATE-NIGHT flying fox activity grounded the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter mid-emergency at its Byron Bay landing site on New Year’s Day.

The crew had been deployed for the emergency transfer of a motor vehicle accident victim to the Gold Coast Hospital, but were left stranded at the Butler Street Reserve until dawn.

Helicopter pilot Tom Hulse said there had been no flying fox activity when the helicopter flew in at 2am.

“We landed and shut down without any problems, but the bats kept streaming out and building up during the hour we were waiting for our doctor and paramedic to prepare the patient for transport,” he said.

“They were so dense by the time we were ready for take-off that we couldn’t guarantee the safety of the passengers or the aircraft, so we had no choice but to cancel the mission.”



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