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Rescue Helicopter Winches Solo Sailor from Vessel out to Sea

Life Flight's Westpac Rescue Helicopter Winches Solo Sailor from Vessel out to Sea


At approximately 1000 this morning Life Flight was tasked by the Rescue Coordination Centre to recuse a solo sailor in distress 15 km south of Cape Palliser.

Life Flight responded in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter with a Wellington Free Ambulance Paramedic on board.


The small sailing vessel was located offshore in 4m swells with wind speeds of 80-120 km/h. The vessel was unable to be controlled and the Captain decided to abandon the vessel and jump into the sea.

The helicopter winched the medic down to the man and connected him to a rescue strop, before winching both back up 40m to the helicopter.

The sailor was then flown back to Wellington for medical assessment in stable condition.


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

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