Swimmer rescued while trying to swim from Petone to Somes Is
Life Flight transported a man suffering from hypothermia after a swim from Petone to Somes Island went wrong.
A Life Flight crew responded on the Westpac Rescue Helicopter with a Wellington Free Ambulance paramedic onboard.
The Lower Hutt man, aged in his early 20’s, was one of a group of four who set off from Petone around 1115am – three were swimmers and one was a kayaker.
“As I understand it, during the swim the man got separated from his swimming buddies but the kayaker stayed with him” says Dave Greenberg, Life Flight crewman. “The swimmer got into a bit of trouble but the kayaker was able to get him aboard the kayak but did manage to wave down a passing boat who picked up the swimmer and brought him to the wharf at Somes Island”.
Once on Somes Island the man was assisted by Doc staff and visitors to the Island which included an off duty ambulance officer.
The man spent about two hours in Wellington Harbour.
Ambulance was notified by a call to 111 and the helicopter, which had just returned from another mission in the Wairarapa, was dispatched.
On our arrival the man was found to be conscious but quite hypothermic. He had been stripped out of his wetsuit and given dry clothes and wrapped in blankets prior to the helicopters
The Life Flight Trust is a charity providing air rescue and air ambulance services. It operates the Wellington based Westpac Rescue Helicopter and a nationwide air ambulance service. It relies on support from the public and sponsorship from partners such as Westpac to provide these services. Further information can be obtained from www.lifeflight.org.nz