Girls choppered out of Sounds

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 07:09 29/04/2014

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Two teenagers on an Outward Bound course in Marlborough were flown to hospital yesterday morning.

The young women, both aged 17, became unwell on Sunday afternoon while on a course run by the Outward Bound School at Anakiwa.

School director Rob MacLean said one of the young women, from Carterton, was suffering abdominal pain and was unable to walk.

As a precaution, the instructor called for help as the terrain and deteriorating weather made it difficult to get her out, he said.

Another student, from Gisborne, suffered with cold and exhaustion after helping the other teenager, MacLean said.

A Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter spokesman said the helicopter tried to reach the teenagers about 4pm on Sunday but could not fly in low cloud on the mountain.

The helicopter picked the girls up about 7am yesterday on the top of Mt Riley, west of Blenheim. They were assessed by an onboard intensive care paramedic and flown to Wairau Hospital in Blenheim.

A hospital spokeswoman said yesterday both teenagers had been treated and discharged.

MacLean said both students were expected to return to the course.

The young women were part of a group of 14 students on a 21-day Mind, Body and Soul course. The course began on April 12 and ends on Friday.

The other 12 students, along with three Outward Bound instructors, descended Mt Riley by foot yesterday and travelled back to the Outward Bound school in Anakiwa.

Marlborough Search and Rescue chairman Karen King said 16 search and rescue members had been ready to go yesterday morning. They were called on Sunday night.

Light rain on the mountainside meant the helicopter couldn't get in safely and also made it treacherous for search and rescue members to enter on foot.

The well maintained DOC track has been described as "hellishly steep" in places, adding to the challenge of a potential stretcher carry, King said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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