Island swim ends in hypothermia

ALEX FENSOME
Last updated 07:24 24/12/2013

Relevant offers

Wellington

Dave Armstrong: If Shelly Bay oasis is just another council handout to business, then get lostalito Labour leader Andrew Little to run the reception desk at Wellington school CuriousCity: How Wellington's commuter trains are kept on track 'Toxic' New Zealand's contaminated sites are costing taxpayers millions Drunk driver smashes through fence, lands car upside down on railway tracks in Lower Hutt Amphibious car takes a spin in Wellington Harbour Woman in her 20s dies after being hit by a car in Gisborne Staffer who stole $375,000 from Wellington school granted parole after almost 10 months in jail Lower Hutt's Doll Face Beauty Hub opens New York-inspired custom beauty bar A Life Story: The Very Rev John Murray, minister, Presbyterian Moderator, activist for peace and human rights

The sun was out, the harbour looked still, and a three-kilometre swim from Petone to Matiu/Somes Island must have appeared inviting.

But a man in his early 20s is likely to be regretting his decision after being flown to Wellington Hospital with hypothermia by the Westpac rescue helicopter.

The man left with two other swimmers and a kayaker from Petone beach about 11.15am.

During the swim, he became separated from the other swimmers and began to struggle. The kayaker stayed with him and pulled him onto the front of his kayak before hailing a passing boat, which took the swimmer to the Matiu/Somes Island dock.

Department of Conservation staff and a visiting off-duty ambulance officer helped to treat him, cutting off his wetsuit and wrapping him in emergency blankets.

He had spent about two hours in the water.

The rescue helicopter was called out to fly him off the island. Crew member Dave Greenberg said the man's body temperature had fallen to about 31 degrees Celsius, making him moderately hypothermic. The normal human body temperature is above 36C.

"He was conscious and starting to warm up," Mr Greenberg said. "He was wearing a wetsuit but I don't know what else. The water was a bit choppy and it wasn't ideal conditions . . . but the other two made it."

The man, from Lower Hutt, was last night discharged from hospital after treatment. He declined to be interviewed.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

What should happen with the Zephyrometer?

Build a new one just like the old one

Replace it with something completely new

Leave it as it is!

Clear the space - not a good place for a sculpture

Vote Result

Related story: Wind wand's future up in the air

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content