CRASH SCENE: Senior Constable John Shilton assesses the site where a helicopter crashed at Tartrus Station in 2007.
CRASH SCENE: Senior Constable John Shilton assesses the site where a helicopter crashed at Tartrus Station in 2007. Chris Ison

Honours for saving cattle baron from burning chopper

THEY wanted to keep a low profile.

But when you've helped save the life of a well-known Marlborough cattle baron, you can't stay unknown for long.

The Morning Bulletin tried several channels yesterday to contact Tom Koch-Emmery and Luke Anthony Walters, the Central Queenslanders given Australian Bravery Award honours this year.

On the morning of October 3, 2007, Mr Koch-Emmery and Mr Walters rescued Marlborough cattle baron Sir Graham McCamley from a burning helicopter after the chopper crashed on the 40469ha Tartrus Station, 100km north-west of Rockhampton.

Mr Koch-Emmery was on a motorbike helping to muster cattle when he heard the tail rotor of Sir Graham's Robinson R44 helicopter, used to herd cattle, strike the upper branches of a nearby tree.

Mr Koch-Emmery quickly avoided the helicopter as it spun out of control before crashing violently and bursting into flames.

He ran to the helicopter and saw a badly injured Sir Graham.

He entered the cockpit and managed to free Sir Graham and pull him out of the burning aircraft.

Mr Walters arrived at the scene. He and Mr Koch- Emmery carried the cattle baron from the wreckage.

They were only metres away when the helicopter exploded.

Shrapnel and debris was flung in all directions.

Sir Graham was placed in the recovery position and his condition assessed before Mr Koch-Emmery headed to the homestead of the property to raise the alarm.

Mr Koch-Emmery will receive the bravery medal.

Mr Walters will receive commendation for brave conduct.

They could not be contacted for comment.


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