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Chathams: All successful - Couple on way to Chch

Chathams Rescue Update # 3 -- All successful - Couple on way back to Christchurch

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter has successfully landed back at the Chatham Islands with the two patients rescued off the cargo ship Encounter. The two, along with a 3rd unrelated patient, are now on the Life Flight NZ air ambulance on their way back to Christchurch.

Westpac Rescue Helicopter crewman Jon Leach described the winch via phone from the Chathams a few minutes ago….

"All went well and we had Heloise and Bruce safely on the helicopter within about 20 minutes. Heloise has an arm injury and was lifted off the Encounter in our nappy harness. Bruce is suffering from multiple injuries and was taken off the ship on a stretcher. He has injuries to his leg, back and ribs. Both are very relieved to be on their way home. We had to perform quite a high winch to work around the containers on the aft end of the ship, but the crew onboard the ship were very professional and assisted Keith (the WFA paramedic) in safely evacuating both patients".

The helicopter arrived overhead the ship at 1145 this morning and arrived back at the Chatham Islands with both patients at 1230 pm.

All three patients are now aboard the Life Flight NZ air ambulance enroute to Christchurch airport. The plane will land at Christchurch around 3pm - once there they will be met by two St John Ambulances and transported to Christchurch Hospital.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Vincent Aviation spotter plane crews are refuelling their aircraft and grabbing a bite to eat before heading back to Wellington. It is expected that they will arrive in Wellington between 6 and 7 pm.


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