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Thu, Feb 22, 2007

Westpac Rescue Helo Plucks Man From Tree

No, He Wasn't Trying To Retrieve A Cat

Aero-News received word this week the Wellington, New Zealand-based Westpac Rescue Helicopter rescued a man from the top of a tree late Tuesday afternoon. The helicopter team was called to Picton, where a 31-year-old Blenheim man fractured his leg while clearing branches near the top of a 131-foot-high tree.

"Apparently one of the man's safety lines got caught up in a falling branch, causing the man to be thrown over the top of another branch and then fracturing his leg as he hit a third branch" says Westpac Rescue Helicopter rescue crewman Dave Greenberg. 

A Wellington Free Ambulance paramedic was winched down to the man. Once he was safely in the helicopter's rescue harness, the man's safety lines were released and the patient and paramedic were winched into the helicopter.

"Strong winds, nearby wires and other trees made the rescue quite challenging but it would have been even more difficult to rescue him from below," added Greenberg. 

The man was transported to Wairau Hospital in Blenheim, where he is now being assessed and treated.

FMI: www.lifeflight.org.nz

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