Four people die in helicopter incident on the Gold Coast

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Thursday, 19 January, 2023 - 12:15
Incidents & prosecutions
National News

Four people recently died when two helicopters were involved in a mid-air incident and subsequently crashed shortly after take-off on the Gold Coast.

When a workplace fatality occurs in a highly technical environment such as aviation, the most relevant authorities are activated to investigate.

This incident is being investigated by the Queensland Police Service in conjunction with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is contributing to this wider investigation.

Initial investigations indicate the crash occurred around 2 pm on the afternoon of Monday 2 January, and one helicopter was landing and another was taking off near Sea World Drive in Main Beach.

One of the helicopters managed to successfully land on a sandbank.

The aircraft which crashed had seven occupants, including the pilot, a 40-year-old Helensvale man.

The pilot and three passengers died at the scene, a pair travelling from the United Kingdom, including a 57-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man, and a 36-year-old Glenmore Park, New South Wales Woman.

A 10-year-old boy also from Glenmore Park sustained critical injuries and was transported to the Gold Coast University Hospital where he remains in critical condition.

Two people from this aircraft, including a 33-year-old woman and a 9-year-old boy both travelling from Geelong West, Victoria were transported to hospital with serious injuries.

The woman was taken by road to the Gold Coast University Hospital and the boy was flown by the RACQ LifeFlight Helicopter, which landed nearby the scene, to the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.

She remains in a critical but stable condition and the boy’s condition remains stable.

The aircraft which landed on the Broadwater sandbank had six occupants, including the pilot, a 52-year-old Clontarf man.

The passengers included a 27-year-old Western Australian man and two families from New Zealand who were travelling together, a 44-year-old man and 43-year-old woman from one family and a 48-year-old man and 45-year-old woman from the other.

One occupant from this aircraft was uninjured, with the remaining five people sustaining minor physical injuries. They were transported to the Gold Coast University Hospital.

Operation Victor Sandlewood comprising Gold Coast Criminal Investigation Branch Detectives and the Forensic Crash Unit is assisting the Australian Transport Safety Bureau with investigations.

An appeal for witnesses, especially those who have video of the crash, and who have not yet spoken to investigators, remains current.