Man pinned under lawnmower has lucky escape

Last updated 17:41 15/01/2014

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A man is lucky to be alive after a motorised lawnmower rolled at the Whakatane Golf Course, pinning him underneath.

The volunteer groundsman, aged in his 70s, was mowing the 13th tee today when his ride-on mower went backwards over a bank, and tipped.

He was pinned by a shoulder and arm for about 30 minutes before being released by the Whakatane Volunteer Fire Brigade.

He was treated at the scene by St John Ambulance, then taken to Whakatane Hospital with minor injuries.

Chief fire officer Ken Clark said the man was lucky to be alive, as the mower missed his head by millimetres.

Emergency services were alerted by golfers.

Clark said the rescue was straightforward and firefighters used the golf club's tractor and hoist to lift the mower, and blocked it underneath.

"We only had to lift it about 300mm to get him out," he said.

Head groundsman Tukai Ellis said the man had volunteered at the golf course for between 20 and 30 years and had a lot of experience mowing the greens.

"He knows all the little tricks, what to do and what not to do."

The golfers who found him always played at that time in the afternoon, but otherwise there were not many people on that part of the course.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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