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Rescue Helicopter Attends Stricken Diver

Rescue Helicopter Attends Stricken Diver

The Wellington based Westpac Rescue Helicopter rescued a diver with a suspected case of the bends this afternoon.

The helicopter, with a Wellington Free Ambulance paramedic onboard, was called to the scene, in Cook Strait just north of the Tory Channel entrance, around 2:30 this afternoon.

As we understand it a 20 year old Blenheim man was diving with a group of others, from a small boat.  The man came to the surface unconscious, and after being helped onboard the boat one of his group called 111.

The helicopter team spoke with the boat enroute to the scene and was able to communicate important instructions to help assist the winch operation.

"When we arrived overhead the people onboard the boat were ready for the rescue" says Dave Greenberg, Westpac Rescue Helicopter crewman.  "We were also able to call another boat to assist by motoring alongside, giving our pilot a good reference point".

The paramedic was winched onboard the boat, and after quickly assessing his condition, got the sick man into a rescue harness and the two were winched back onto the helicopter. 

"The winch was difficult due to the small size of the boat and strong winds, but went well" says Greenberg.

The man was conscious when he was brought on the boat but was exhibiting signs of the bends.  Our paramedic treated him as he was flown at low level back to Wellington Hospital Emergency Department.

He is currently being treated in the Emergency Department and shortly will be flown, aboard a fixed wing air ambulance, to the Christchurch hyperbaric chamber for further treatment.


© Scoop Media

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