Motueka woman badly hurt diving

21:24, May 05 2014

A woman who suffered serious spinal injuries and nearly drowned diving into shallow water at Kaiteriteri beach on Saturday is in a stable condition in Christchurch Hospital's intensive care unit after she was flown there by air ambulance yesterday.

The 29-year-old Motueka woman was believed to have been unconscious in the water at Kaiteriteri for several minutes before bystanders pulled her out, Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter duty pilot Tim Douglas-Clifford said at the weekend.

St John Ambulance spokesman Kris Gagliari said today the woman was initially flown to Nelson Hospital in a serious condition as a result of the extent of her neck injury and the length of time she had been immersed in the water.

He said the woman was initially unresponsive, having been in the water for at least two minutes. A doctor and St John ambulance crew from Motueka treated her at the scene. Police also attended.

The helicopter was called at 2.30pm and landed at the Kaiteriteri Beach Reserve, where its intensive care paramedic helped stabilise the woman before she was flown to Nelson Hospital initially, then transferred to Christchurch yesterday.

Douglas-Clifford said the woman had apparently dived into shallow water, hitting the bottom.