27 Oct 2019

Helicopter rescues injured canyoner

8:05 am on 27 October 2019

A canyoner who fell 10 metres in Coromandel Forest Park was airlifted to hospital last night.

Coromandel Pinnacles at Coromandel Forest Park. Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand.

The Coromandel Pinnacles in the Coromandel Forest Park. Photo: 123RF

An SOS alert from a canyoning company at 2.20pm said the person, one of a party of 10, had suspected spinal injuries.

The Rescue Coordination Centre said strong winds meant it was unsafe for the Auckland Westpac Helicopter to land.

The centre worked with a LandSAR team to organise a rope rescue to carry the person out by stretcher.

However, the weather improved and a rescue helicopter from Hamilton was able to land at 7.30pm.

Senior Search and Rescue officer from the RCCNZ, Mike Roberts said: "Two paramedics were winched down to the patient, and after assessment the patient was winched back out."

He said the person who had a moderate injury was taken to Waikato Hospital.

"This group did the right thing and organised a beacon to take with them on this trip. It allowed us to respond immediately and locate them quickly."

The people in the canyoning group assisted the helicopter crew by carrying the injured person on a stretcher to the helicopter's landing site.