Callouts keep rescue helicopter busy

Last updated 13:00 02/06/2014

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A teenager kicked by a horse, a man cut by an angle grinder, and a lost mountainbiker kept the Nelson Marlborough Rescue helicopter busy over the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon it airlifted a 14-year-old girl from Murchison Hospital to Nelson Emergency Department.

The girl, from Franz Josef Glacier, was kicked in the abdomen by a horse, while shifting it in a paddock. She suffered potentially serious injuries and was treated enroute to Nelson by the helicopter's on-board intensive care paramedic. She is still in a stable condition at Nelson Hospital.

Yesterday, the helicopter airlifted a 46-year-old man to Nelson Hospital from D'Urville Island at 4.45pm.

The man was working with friends on the island when he cut his face with an angle grinder. The helicopter landed on the shore line at Paddys Bay and the man was assessed before being flown to Nelson Hospital. He was later discharged.

Helicopter pilot Flint Horn said they were then immediately dispatched to an emergency locator beacon that had been set off in Boars Back Spur in the Hira Valley.

A man in his mid-50s was mountainbiking in the area and "got mixed up in the tracks", Horn said. "It was dark, he got lost and confused as to where the tracks were, so he did the right thing."

Using the helicopter tracking system and night vision equipment, the beacon was located along with the man.

Horn said people should always take torches and cellphones with them as when it was dark the rescuers needed light to locate people. The beacon was the only thing the man had to emit light.

The man was assessed by the helicopter medic and he was returned to Nelson helicopter base uninjured.

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- The Nelson Mail

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