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Cycling the South Island for charity

Cycling the South Island for charity

John Masters was saved by the Life Flight Trust after he suffered a life-threatening illness at sea four years ago.

He is now on a six-week cycle tour around the South Island to raise funds for the Life Flight Trust, operators of the Wellington Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

John was sailing in the Global Challenge yacht race in 2004 when a freak wave struck his boat. He received serious injuries and needed urgent medical care so an air rescue was his only hope for survival.

The Wellington Westpac Rescue Helicopter lifted John from the boat then flew him to the Chatham Islands. There he was loaded into a Life Flight air ambulance aeroplane and flown to Wellington Hospital to receive the life-saving care he required.

John says, "Along with the amazing medical skills of the yacht's doctor and seamanship of the skipper and crew, Life Flight saved my life.

"I am circumnavigating the South Island from Cape Farewell in the north to Slope Point in the south by cycle, to celebrate my rescue, the bravery of the helicopter crew in such extreme conditions and the team work of everybody involved.

"The Life Flight Trust relies on donations to operate. Had it not been for the generosity of others who donated in the past I would not have been rescued and my happy ending would have been a tragedy instead.

"Others who have been rescued will vouch for the fact that we had never thought we would need rescuing, but once the need was there we were very, very grateful when Life Flight turned up and took us to safety."

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Life Flight crewman Dave Greenberg says, "After seeing the condition John was in when we rescued him it is amazing to see him in full health again and able to take on this cycling challenge. We really appreciate John tackling this fundraising adventure on behalf of others who will need Life Flight in future."

Part way through his journey John has already raised $3,800 for the Life Flight Trust. In addition he continues to donate $1 per day to the charity, which he has done since his rescue.

To follow John's progress and help him raise as much as possible for Life Flight visit


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