Busy weekend for West Coast rescue helicopter

A sick child, an injured motocross rider and crash victim were all picked up by the NZCC West Coast Rescue Helicopter over the weekend.

The helicopter crew's busy weekend began on Friday afternoon when they were called to motorbike crash about 2pm, flying the injured rider to Nelson Hospital.

Once back in Greymouth the helicopter then flew a female patient to Christchurch Hospital, and on the return trip it was diverted to Westport to pick up a man who needed medical attention in Greymouth.

The helicopter crew answered a beacon call to Mount Rolleston, between Otira and Arthur's Pass, and while there they attended a serious crash near the rock shelter in the lower Otira Gorge.

The driver was trapped in the vehicle for some time before he could be freed and flown to Christchurch with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Flying back to the West Coast, the crew was next sent to the Waitangi-taona River mouth to pick up a whitebaiter who had injured his back; he was flown to Grey Base Hospital.

Later on Saturday the helicopter was sent on another mission to Westport, this time for a sick child who was taken to Greymouth, and yesterday it picked up a teenage boy who suffered numerous injuries in a motocross event at Mananui, south of Hokitika.

 - by Viv Logie

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