Thursday afternoon January 9 at about 4 p.m. local time a helicopter under contract with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service in Australia ditched into a lake on the far south coast of NSW. After impacting the water the UH-1H helicopter submerged but the pilot was able to self-extricate and swim to shore. The pilot was the only person on board.
The Canberrra Times reported that the 47-year old pilot was treated at the scene by paramedics for shoulder, back, and ankle injuries before being taken to the South East Regional Hospital.
The helicopter was refilling with water at Ben Boyd Reservoir in the Ben Boyd National Park at Edrom, in the Bega Valley Shire.
The aircraft had been moved from the Clyde Mountain Fire to work on the Border Fire in Eden which has crossed from NSW into Victoria. It merged with another fire creating a massive 150,000 hectare (370,000 acres).
#NSWFIRES: Our Southern NSW rescue helicopter #Lifesaver23 was about to depart Eden when reports were received of a downed water bomber. The crew were quick to the scene where they found the pilot safe on the bank – reports of no serious injuries. pic.twitter.com/cCxyg1v1IE
— Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters (@Lifesaverhelo) January 9, 2020