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Kayaker survives three hours trapped on rock

Kayaker survives three hours trapped on rock in the middle of remote river

Last evening Taupo's Greenlea Rescue Helicopter was called by the Rescue coordination centre after they received a signal from a personal locating beacon.

The beacon position was resolved in the upper reaches of the Motu river. The beacon had been set off by two kayakers.

Using the Coordinates provided by the RCC the Greenlea helicopter crew were able to locate the party via the strobe light on the beacon.

The two men were in a narrow section of the river with the hills on either side rising steeply to over 2000'. Having descended to the river level the Greenlea helicopter crew hover loaded two LandSAR members onto the rocks.

One man was clearly visible stranded on a rock in the middle of the swiftly flowing series of rapids. After approximately 10-15 minutes of hovering the helicopter crew were able to find the only suitable landing site among the car sized boulders in the river bed.

It transpired that while trying to negotiate this particularly difficult section of the river on foot, one of the men slipped on the rocks and was swept into the main flow. He was able to perch himself on a rock in the middle of the river but was unable to reach the river bank on either side. During the course of the incident they managed to lose both of their kayaks and most of their belongings. Fortunately they were carrying the personal locating beacon on them and were able to send a distress signal.

After around three hours trapped precariously on the rock in the middle of the raging river, the LandSAR team were able to set a rope anchor and pull the man to safety.

The helicopter crew had staged their rescue from a house near the mouth of the Motu river where they were treated to some good old fashion hospitality by the occupants who were rudely disturbed by a helicopter landing in their front yard at eight thirty on aFriday night


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