Rescuers' 'brute force' frees pinned tramper
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.