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Chopper's suburban mission explained


There was panic around Andergrove on Tuesday morning as the RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter hovered above the neighbourhood for about 20 minutes.

Crews were responding to an activated distress beacon.

An RACQ CQ Rescue spokesperson says the search was narrowed down to two homes.

"The helicopter landed in Tropical Avenue Park about 9am and two crewmen then tracked the signal on foot through two suburban streets nearby to a property at Smalley Court," they say.

The pinging was traced to a neighbouring backyard on a five metre boat that was hooked up to a trailer and car.

It appears the EPIRB, which was found on the side of the vessel, was accidentally activated by recent heavy rain.

The equipment also wasn't registered so authorities weren't able to contact the owner.


Crews switched off the EPIRB, removed the batteries and left it with the neighbour to pass on the information.

The service is urging locals to register their EPIRB online so they can be contacted in the event of an activation.

"The exercise to locate and deactivate the distress beacon cost the service in excess of $11,000, but fortunately costs could be recouped from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority," a spokesperson says.

Images: Supplied