Helicopter rescues injured teen

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 14:00 18/03/2014
Temple Basin helicopter rescue
Westpac Rescue Helicopter

RESCUE MISSION: The Christchurch-based Westpac Rescue Helicopter attends a 16-year-old injured after falling down a scree slope.

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A Christchurch teenager had to be airlifted to hospital after falling down an alpine slope while on a school field trip.

The Christchurch-based Westpac Rescue Helicopter was called to help the 16-year-old after he sustained shoulder and leg injuries in a fall down a scree slope near Temple Basin yesterday afternoon. 

The rescue crew had to reach the injured boy by foot because of wet weather conditions.

The teenager, a student at Riccarton High School, had been in the area on a biology class field trip.

They were assisted by a land search and rescue team from Arthurs Pass and the crew of a Defence Force all-terrain ambulance, who were on an exercise in the area.

A helicopter spokesperson said it was the second time the Defence Force had come to the crew's assistance over the last week, after the helicopter was forced to land at Burnham Military Camp on Saturday night because of bad weather.

Riccarton High School principal Phil Holstein said the boy suffered a broken collarbone and a cut knee when he slipped on uneven ground.

"Unfortunately he slipped on the lower slopes. He slipped on the shale and as a he fell his arm hit a rock."

The teen was kept in Christchurch Hospital overnight for observation, but was expected to be able to return home today. 

Holstein said weather conditions in the area were "fine" at the time of the accident.

"We look forward to having him back at school when he's recovered."

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