A Riwaka man has been helicoptered to Hutt Hospital's
specialist burns unit after falling into a bonfire in the
early hours of this morning.
The 21-year-old man was airlifted around 4.30am by the Nelson
Marlborough Rescue helicopter from Murchison.
He had been with friends when he stumbled backwards into a
bonfire and suffered widespread burns to his body. He was
initially listed as being in a Status 2, or serious
A crewman on-board the helicopter, Ernie Bryant, said they
picked the man up from the Murchison Medical Centre following
"He didn't give us a lot [of information about how it
happened]. They were just a group around his age standing
around having a bonfire and the next thing he's in it
"He doesn't really know how [it happened] either."
He was flown to Hutt Hospital's specialist burns unit in
Wellington for further treatment and was listed as being in a
The crew also rescued a couple from Christchurch around 5pm
yesterday who were trapped by a rising river in the Matiri
"They were at the end of their tramp and they got caught
where the river rose quite suddenly and it blocked their path
to get back to their vehicle."
The couple then attempted to return to a hut they had been
staying at the previous night, but again found the rising
river had rendered them trapped.
"So they activated their emergency locator beacon and we went
and grabbed them.
"There's the old thing, 'when is it a good time to set your
beacon off' - it's as soon as you pull it because it was
getting late in the afternoon, close to getting on to dark,
the river was rising a little bit - the earlier people
activate it and get going, the easier it is to extricate
The pair were uninjured, aside from being cold and tired, Mr
Bryant said. The crew then swept the rest of the valley
looking for anyone else who may have been caught by the
rising river but found no one.
Meanwhile in Tauranga, a 36-year-old Katikati man was flown
out of the Kaimai ranges this morning after injuring his
He was was tramping with his two sons aged 10 and 16
yesterday evening when the injury occurred.
The trio stayed at the Motutapere Hut over night and three
members of the Tauranga Land Search and Rescue went in last
night to assess the patient.
The Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter from Tauranga flew in
this morning and was able to airlift the patient to the