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Australian Air Force Cadet Abseilers to the Rescue

James Cross of Booral was one of eight cadets who were recently involved in the rescue of two people at Tahmoor Gorge. Read the full story below.

Information courtesy of Australian Air Force Cadets;

On Friday 16th January 2015, 3 Wing Australian Air Force cadets (AAFC) and staff of the 1/15 Abseiling Course utilised their abseiling training to rescue a young man and his carer.

Whilst abseiling at Mermaid Pools in Tahmoor Gorge, AAFC staff were alerted to a young man with special needs being dragged down the rapids and over a 10m waterfall. The young man’s carer was able to reach him, but both were sucked into a 2.4m deep hole filled with turbulent white water. The area is known locally as “The Washing Machine”.

“When he went in to the washing machine, I thought he was going to drown” said FLGOFF(AAFC) Julie Crumpton.

FLTLT(AAFC) Grahame Fisher and his daughter FLGOFF(AAFC) Julie Crumpton are both SES trained in vertical rescue which was an essential asset in this circumstance. Staff and cadets working together jumped into action. Julie Crumpton was able to fit a harness to the young man and accompanied him as they ascended up the 20m escarpment to safety. As a Special Needs Teacher Julie was able to interact with him appropriately to ensure he was calm and safe.

The team of 4 staff and 8 cadets achieved the successful rescue of the young man and his carer. This situation highlighted the practical benefits of Adventure Training within the Australian Air Force Cadets. Our Congratulations goes to the following members:

  • FLTLT(AAFC) Grahame Fisher – 320 Flight
  • FLGOFF(AAFC) Julie Crumpton – 320 Flight
  • FLGOFF(AAFC) Jackie Brauer – 311 Squadron
  • PLTOFF(AAFC) Shelley Robertson – 333 Squadron
  • CCPL Rhys Zapata-Cole – 312 Squadron
  • LCDT Luke Clarkson – 311 Squadron
  • LCDT Kara Donald – 314 Squadron
  • LCDT Mathew Lee – 318 Squadron
  • LCDT Logan Setterfield – 313 Squadron
  • CDT James Cross – 335 Squadron
  • CDT Tyler Golding – 330 Squadron
  • CDT Aiden Judd – 334 Squadron

To view images of the rescue click on the following link;


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