A FISHERMAN who seriously wounded his leg after he fell on a swordfish's bill was en route to Tweed Hospital before the decision was made to change to Gold Coast Hospital.
The incident occurred overnight about 190 nautical miles off the Southport Seaway.
The 20-year-old was on board the fishing vessel Kimocean.
It travelled 90 nautical miles inland where it met the RACQ CareFlight rescue helicopter to winch the man to safety.
The crew sent an Intensive Care Paramedic down to the vessel to bring the young man back onboard the aircraft.
He was treated by CareFlight's critical care doctor Liz Thompson.
"The patient was pierced in the back of the leg, just above his knee, by the sharp bill and was losing a lot of blood when we arrived," Dr Thompson said.
"The wound he sustained was quite deep but the sword did not penetrate the other side. And thankfully, the bill didn't snap off inside his leg either.
"The man, a fisherman by trade, was pulling the swordfish into the boat when he tripped and landed on the sharp bill.
"He was in quite a bit of pain and it was frightening and unusual experience for him.
"But we kept him calm and he was conscious and talking to us throughout the rescue," she said.
Dr Thompson treated the patient for the deep wound and blood loss while he was being airlifted back to CareFlight's aircraft base on the Gold Coast.