On 14 March 2019, at around 9am, the West Coast Rescue Helicopter crew received a call from the Airdesk advising of a patient in need on the Heaphy Track.
The patient had injured their ankle while tramping the world-famous track with a group of friends two days earlier but earlier attempts of rescue from the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter had been thwarted by poor weather.
The rescue crew – made up of Angus Taylor (Pilot), Ian Harvey (Paramedic), Tim Robins (Crewman) and Brent Hollow (Greymouth’s most recent addition as trainee Crewman), departed immediately for the Lewis Hut, at the western end the Heaphy Track.
“Fortunately because of the weeks of great summer weather we’ve been having here on the coast we were able to safely land the helicopter on the river bed next to the hut. From there it was a relatively easy job to briefly treat the patient on-site before loading her aboard and flying her to Greymouth Hospital for further treatment”, said duty Crewman Tim Robins of the mission.