RCCNZ completes two successful operations

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) has completed two operations this morning.

A female tramper in her 60s, from Auckland, was rescued from the Angelus Hut on the Cascade Track between Lakes Rotoroa and Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park, after setting off a personal locater beacon.

RCCNZ received the beacon activation at about 8.30am and the Nelson rescue helicopter reached the woman, who had injured her hip, at around 10am. She was taken to Nelson hospital.

RCCNZ search and rescue mission coordinator Greg Johnston said the woman slipped on tussock and fell off the track late yesterday. This morning she was unable to continue the tramp.

Mr Johnston said the incident once again shows the importance carrying a beacon. “This operation was completed quickly and the injured person was in hospital within two hours of setting off her beacon,” he said. “It could have been a much longer process without that ability to raise the alarm quickly.”

Beacons should also be registered to provide emergency contact information – registration is free at beacons.org.nz.

RCCNZ has also this morning coordinated the transfer of a 75-year-old American man from the cruise ship Marina in Milford Sound to Dunedin Hospital.

RCCNZ was advised that the passenger had fallen ill late yesterday afternoon, with on-board doctors recommending evacuation. However, the vessel was too far offshore for the man to be winched off by helicopter before nightfall.

The Marina was scheduled to visit Milford Sound, and the passenger was taken to shore by boat this morning and transferred to hospital by the Otago rescue helicopter. The man’s condition is not known.

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