Helicopter Rescues Jet Skier

Copter Switches to Surf Club Role

–     Saves Skier from Tides

November 29th 2009

The Region’s Westpac Helicopter has rescued a jet skier who was swept from his ski and dragged out to sea today.

Police contacted the rescue crew about 1:00 pm to say a jet skier was seen from the shore near Lake Ferry being swept out to sea after losing his jet ski.

The helicopter was airborne four minutes later and arrived overhead at 1:15pm.  A person on shore who was watching the man through binoculars was able to talk to the crew and direct them to the skier.

The 25 year old Auckland man was winched out of Palliser Bay and flown back to shore.

He says he hit something in the water and fell from his jet ski.

Once he was on shore, a paramedic from the helicopter checked the man, who was shaken up and cold but otherwise alright.

“It was certainly helpful having someone on shore keeping track of the man,” says Dave Greenberg, Westpac Rescue Helicopter crewman.

“We were able to fly pretty much directly to him and had him on shore 20 minutes after leaving Wellington,” he says..

The man didn’t need hospital treatment.

A short time later, another potential sea drama seemed to be unfolding.

Police asked the helicopter to fly to Titahi Bay, where an empty kayak was apparently being swept out to sea.

But the helicopter mission was called off when it was confirmed that what was thought to be a kayak was actually a large log floating in the sea.

A couple of hours later, the Square Trust Rescue Helicopter had to rescue a teenager who had become stranded on a sandbar in the middle of the Manawatu River in Palmerston North. He was swept down the river while swimming about 5pm.