Kayaker sparks chopper rescue

A kayaker trying to traverse "car-sized boulders" on a trip in the eastern Bay of Plenty sparked a helicopter call-out after slipping and falling into a river.

The man and another male kayaker were making their way along the Motu River, when they came across some "car-sized boulders blocking the way", Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) spokesman Steve Rendall said.

They were carrying their kayaks over the rocks when one of the men slipped and fell in the water.

"He was washed down stream...and ended up sticking to a boulder."

"Fortunately they had their personal locator beacon attached to them. They were able to use that and it saved the day."

The Taupo Greenlea Rescue Helicopter was notified of the beacon signal by RCC at about 5pm.

The man was in the water for about 3 hours before he was picked up in the upper reaches of the river.

"They were picked up and flown back to a farm house where they received some good old Kiwi hospitality.

"They weren't injured but they were wet and cold.

"Unfortunately in the course of the incident both of them have lost their kayaks and some of their personal belongings which were in the kayaks."

A LandSAR team assisted in the rescue, Mr Rendall said.

The rescue helicopter said the boulder the man was stranded on was in the middle of a "swiftly flowing series of rapids" in the river.

The LandSAR team were able to set a rope anchor and pull the man to safety, it said.

- By Teuila Fuatai of APNZ

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