Rescuers' 'brute force' frees pinned tramper

Last updated 09:19 08/02/2014
boulder
PINNED: A Christchurch tramper was freed after being pinned by two large boulders, one weighing 'a tonne', in Arthur's Pass.

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A 66-year-old Christchurch man was rescued after his leg became trapped between two huge boulders while tramping in the Arthur's Pass National Park. 

The man was part of a group attempting the Three-Passes trip yesterday. He became stuck when he dislodged a boulder, which then rolled onto his lower leg, trapping it against another, larger, boulder.

The man's companions were unable to move the boulder, estimated to weigh a tonne, despite the help of another group who came across the incident.

The group carried a mountain radio and were able to contact the Christchurch base and call for help. The other group activated a personal locator beacon.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand tasked the Greymouth based New Zealand Coal & Carbon (NZCC) Rescue Helicopter to respond.

The helicopter pilot, crewman, a St John paramedic and a police search and rescue squad member were dispatched to the scene, stopping en route at Arthurs Pass village to collect heavy tools. The team were hover-unloaded near the accident site in the steep-sided Taipoiti River gorge. 

A spokesperson said the rescuers used "three 2-metre long crow bars and the brute force of the other trampers on-site" to move the boulder enough to free the man's leg. 

The man appeared to have suffered no serious injuries. He was flown to Grey Base Hospital for assessment.

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- The Press

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