YOUNG and unscathed from life's reality, at 16, a traumatic event changed that for me and hit home the crucial role of rescue choppers.
I was with my dad, his friend and my brother on our annual Christmas bushwalk.
We had made it to the peak of Mt Barney, lunched and were about a quarter of the way through our descent when the unthinkable happened.
My dad, navigating the steep slope, stepped on top of a boulder which gave way, and he disappeared over the edge.
Time stood still as I punched in the triple 0 digits on my phone.
I remember I couldn't comprehend that an emergency response was really necessary.
But of course it was - discovering my dad about 30 metres down in the gully, slightly submerged in a pool of water, he was pinned under a large rock and his right arm was in tatters.
It was that day that I understood the impact that rescue helicopters have on lives. They are saviours and they saved my dad's life.
His prosthetic arm is a reminder of this.
While an RACQ Careflight helicopter team is who I am grateful to, Tegan Annett tells the stories and reveals the heroes behind the RACQ Capricorn helicopter.
And there are many more stories like these.
I'm off to Canada for a ski season. On my visit earlier this year I again found myself in a sticky cliff situation, this time on a snowboard. I had over-estimated my off-piste ability and found myself stranded.
Luckily I managed to get myself down slowly, but it was another reality check as to how risky our outdoor adventures can be.
Rest assured I plan to not make it a hat-trick. Until the next time we meet Gladstone, stay safe.
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