Engineer suffers severe burns on bulk carrier
By ZOE SINCLAIRzoe@gladstoneobserver.com.au
AN ENGINEER suffered severe burns aboard a bulk carrier 80 nautical miles (150km) east of Gladstone yesterday and was airlifted to Gladstone Hospital.
RACQ Capricorn Rescue Helicopter crew officer Mike Dekker said the 64-year-old Sydney man was working near a high pressure steam component when he suffered the scalding to 55 to 60 per cent of his body.
Mr Dekker said the man was burnt on his face, hands, upper arms, back and back of his legs and the only area to escape severe burns was his chest.
"He must have known it was coming and he put his hands up to protect his face and turned away,'' Mr Dekker said. "The steam and hot water would have dripped down his back.''
Mr Dekker said the man was to be airlifted to Rockhampton Hospital but, because of his unstable condition, it was decided to send him to Gladstone Hospital, saving about 20 minutes.
"Things can go pearshaped with burns even when it's 30 per cent of the body,'' Mr Dekker said.