Trampers keep rescue helicopter working

Last updated 12:00 08/03/2014

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Injured trampers kept the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter busy late yesterday, including a complicated rescue of a tramper with a broken foot who was flown from the upper Pelorus River area.

The rescue was followed immediately after by a call to help a tourist who had fallen off the track in the Abel Tasman National Park.

A rescue helicopter spokesman said the Rescue Co-ordination Centre [RCC] Wellington asked the helicopter to respond to a personal locator beacon activation in the upper Pelorus River, near Roebuck Hut, at 4.30pm yesterday.

The helicopter located two trampers, one of whom had suffered a fractured foot in a fall.

"The trampers were in the bottom of a gorge section of tributary stream bed in dense beech forest.

"Due to the depth from the tree tops the helicopter was unable to winch in a paramedic; instead the helicopter landed in the river bed below the gorge and the paramedic and crewman were able to climb up the gorge and locate the trampers," the spokesman said.

They then carried the man and helped him to negotiate the gorge terrain down to the helicopter.

The two men, aged in their 30s and both from Wellington, were then flown to Nelson.

Immediately following this, at about 5.30pm, the helicopter went to the aid of a man who had fallen down a bank on the Abel Tasman track, near Bark Bay.

"With assistance from a Department of Conservation worker setting off a smoke flash, the helicopter was able to quickly locate the man, who was four to five metres down a bank."

The helicopter's onboard intensive care paramedic was winched on to the rocks near the man,.

An Israeli tourist, he was then winched back into the helicopter.

The man, aged in his 70s, suffered moderate injuries in the fall and was flown to Nelson Hospital for further medical treatment.

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- The Nelson Mail

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