Issue 5
Wednesday, 07 July 2021
Charles Darwin University
E-news
CDU Paramedicine Senior Lecturer Duncan McConnell with rescued bushwalker Margaret Dobbin
CDU Paramedicine Senior Lecturer Duncan McConnell with rescued bushwalker Margaret Dobbin

CDU Lecturer helps in successful rescue

Lost bushwalker Margaret Dobbin is home safe thanks to the efforts of NT Police, St John Ambulance NT, and a CDU Paramedicine Lecturer.

NT Police phoned St John Ambulance early Tuesday morning on June 8. They were juggling several incidents and needed help in an ongoing search in Litchfield National Park, for lost bushwalker Margaret Dobbin. The 71-year-old had been missing for 48-hours.

CDU Paramedicine Senior Lecturer and St John Ambulance Australia NT Clinical Manager Duncan McConnell took the call.

“I jumped into one of our rapid-response vehicles and drove down to support the Police, and SES, and Park Rangers who were already on scene,” he said.

It was midday and very hot, and the post-wet-season humidity lingered. The rescue team quietly feared a poor outcome.

“We did think that maybe she was a bit disoriented, and would need assistance out, or be carried out, we expected a much sicker person were we able to locate them,” Mr McConnell said.

Then, around a-quarter-to-one that afternoon, the helicopter pilot spotted Margret Dobbin’s space-blanket. The experienced bushwalker hadn’t used it in fifteen years, but now it was needed. She repositioned herself and used the space-blanket to reflect the sun, and this is what the pilot saw.

Suffering only minor abrasions and insect bites, as well as being a little hungry, Margaret Dobbin was assessed by CDU Paramedicine Senior Lecturer and St John Ambulance Australia NT Clinical Manager Duncan McConnell.

“Margaret was extremely thankful for the efforts of NT Police, NT SES, NT Parks and Wildlife and St John Ambulance Australia NT, for everything they did throughout the search,” he said.