Kapiti Teenagers Rescued

Helicopter Lifts Four From Otaki Forks

A Life Flight Trust team has rescued four teenagers from the Otaki River.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was requested to search for the missing teens on the Otaki River above the Otaki Forks area, last evening.
 The teens were on a two-day tramping and tubing trip and were reported to be in trouble by the fifth member of the group who was able to tube out and raise the alarm.
The rescue helicopter, with a pilot, two rescue crew and a Wellington Free Ambulance paramedic on board, arrived in the search area just after 7pm.
Three of the missing men were spotted on the river bank approximately 2.5km from the Otaki Forks picnic area.
Helicopter gets close to river bank
“Mike, our pilot was able to maneuver the helicopter close to the river bank, allowing our paramedic to jump onto the rocks of the riverbed” says Julian Burn, Westpac Rescue Helicopter Crewman.
“The paramedic assisted the three onto the helicopter and they were flown to the picnic area at Otaki Forks where friends, family and SAR personnel were waiting.”
The helicopter then returned to the Otaki River and the crew spotted the fourth man about 2km further up the river.  He was helped into the helicopter and then flown to meet his mates and family. 
Mr Burn says: “The last teen rescued was suffering from hypothermia and low blood sugar so he was flown to Wellington Hospital for treatment. His mum, who arrived at the picnic area shortly after the helicopter landed, accompanied him to hospital.”
The young man, who is 18 and comes from Paraparaumu, was initially in a serious condition but his condition improved en route to hospital.
It is believed the other three men — aged 18 or 19 — are also from the Kapiti Area.