Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Nelson Police host canyon rescue workshop

Nelson Police host canyon rescue workshop

Please attribute to Sergeant Malcolm York, SAR Coordinator:

New Zealand’s first scenario-based canyon Search and Rescue exercise was held in Motueka over the weekend and was a big success.

The exercise involved people from Police Search and Rescue, NZ Canyon Association, LandSAR, Tasman Swift Water Rescue and Fire and Emergency NZ,

On Saturday the canyon rescue teams practiced technical rescue and rigging techniques at locations based on Takaka Hill.

At 6pm members from the groups were briefed on a scenario where a party had not returned from a canyoning trip in the Ellis Creek Canyon near Tapawera.

An Incident Management Team was formed and the evening was spent planning for a Search and Rescue mission for the next day.

On Sunday morning at 9am canyon rescue teams moved into the canyon to look for the missing canyoners.

They were supported in the field by Police, Fire and Emergency NZ staff and LandSAR volunteers.

Just after 11am the two missing people were located in separate areas of the canyon with injuries that prevented them from exiting the canyon on their own.

A helicopter extraction was off limits for the exercise, so the canyon rescue teams had to treat the patients and then extract them from the canyon using advanced rope techniques.

This included lowering the patients down numerous waterfalls, up to 40 metres high, floating them

across deep pools, and passing a stretcher through very awkward, dangerous terrain.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Both patients were successfully extracted and invaluable lessons were learnt from the exercise.

Canyons are one of the most difficult places to run SAR operations as they are usually remote, always cold and high risk places to send rescuers into.

Canyon rescues provide unique challenges that require rescuers with a very specialist set of skills.

As the sport continues to grow in popularity, we expect there will be more need for these rescue groups to carry out operations such as this exercise.

For that reason, getting the specialists together with the teams that manage and support these operations was extremely valuable and has put us much further ahead in our response to these types of incidents.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Government’s Policies Of Yesteryear

Winston Peters is routinely described as the kingmaker who decides whether the centre right or the centre-left has a turn at running this country. He also plays a less heralded, but equally important role as the scapegoat who can be blamed for killing taxes that his senior partners never much wanted in the first place. Neither Ardern nor Robertson for example, really wanted a capital gains tax, for fear of Labour copping the “tax and spend“ label they ended up being saddled with anyway. Usefully though, they could tell the party faithful it was wicked old Winston who killed the CGT... More

Government: National, ACT, & NZ First To Deliver For All Kiwis

The National Party claims the new coalition government will be stable, effective, and will deliver for all Kiwis. "Despite the challenging economic environment, New Zealanders can look forward to a better future because of the changes the new Government will make ... We know that, with the right leadership, the right policies, and the right direction, together New Zealanders can make this an even better country," says Christopher Luxon... More


Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw... More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.