Shell-ebrations as turtle moved out of harm's way

February 18, 2019

North Queensland’s big wet has landed a passenger at Townsville Airport in turtle-y the wrong place.

David Singleton and Mark Danier, from the QGAir Rescue Helicopter team based at Townsville Airport, were surprised to find a turtle making its way across a taxiway at the airport last week.

“We were taxiing out to get ready to deploy when we came across this little guy,” Mr Singleton said.

“He might’ve been trying to catch the next plane to Brisbane, but Mark picked him up and relocated him out of harm’s way.”

Townsville Airport Chief Operating Officer Kevin Gill commended the swift actions of the QG Air crew.

“An important part of the job of our airside operations team is to keep the airfield free of wildlife hazards,” he said.

“It’s not only a dangerous place for animals to be –wildlife, particularly birds, can cause damage to aircraft and pose a safety risk to passengers.

“We were pleased to hear our curious friend was relocated to safer territory.”

The incident comes after 1257 mm of rain fell at Townsville Airport in the 10 days between January 28 and February 6, passing the previous record of 925.5 mm set in January 1953.

The airport was forced to close its doors for just 20 hours on February 3 and 4 – a rare event in its 80-year history.