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    Man plunges to death during helicopter rescue

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    Man dies after falling from helicopter during rescue attempt: An Australian hunter fell to his death on August 31 while being winched into a rescue helicopter after breaking his ankle at Macs Cove in Victoria's northwest.

    Robert Davies, 86, of Sydney was hunting Sambar deer on a guided tour in near the region's Lake Eildon when he lost his footing and broke an ankle.

    Due to the remoteness of the area, an Ambulance Victoria helicopter was dispatched to airlift him to hospital. During the rescue attempt, a paramedic fitted a "strop" harness to the man who reportedly weighed around 280 pounds (120-130 kg).

    For reasons still unclear, Davies fell just as he and the rescuer reached the aircraft's doorway. At the time, the helicopter was hovering about 100 feet (30 meters) from the ground. Davies dies at the scene from injuries sustained in the fall.

    Australia's Fairfax Media reported that winching operations by five state helicopters were immediately suspended, though three have since been give the all clear to continue. An investigation into the cause of the fall is underway.

    Ambulance Employees Australia secretary Steve McGhie said Davies' weight would factor into the investigations.


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