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RCCNZ Launches Long Range Rescue

DATE: 8 AUGUST 2008

RCCNZ Launches Long Range Rescue


The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) has launched one of its longest range search and rescue missions to help an injured crewman on board a Spanish vessel hundreds of kilometres off the New Zealand Coast.

RCCNZ coordinated the medical evacuation of the man, who was suffering from a suspected stroke, from the Spanish-registered fishing vessel approximately 464km off East Cape this afternoon, after receiving a request for assistance from its Spanish equivalent in Madrid earlier this week. However, given the vessel’s distance from New Zealand, rescue helicopters have until now been unable to reach the crewman and airlift him to hospital for further treatment.

RCCNZ Search and Rescue Officer Keith Allen said the Phillips Search and Rescue Trust Mil 8 Helicopter from Taupo had been used in the medivac, as it was one of the only rescue craft from New Zealand which had the capability to conduct rescues so far out to sea.

“At more than 250 nautical miles out – which is well past the range of most rescue helicopters – this medivac is one of the longest range rescues RCCNZ has coordinated,” he said.

The injured crewman was being flown to Tauranga for further treatment after being winched off the vessel, with an estimated arrival time of around 5pm today, Mr Allen said. A fixed wing aircraft from Taupo had also provided aerial support in the rescue.

ENDS

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