High sea Raglan rescue

On March the 3rd 2012 the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter responded to a mission about 30k off Raglan’s coast for a 10 metre yacht in difficulty with one person on board. The Weather bomb had hit and the helicopter had to face 70-90kmh winds to reach the yacht which was drifting in swells of up to 8 or 9 metres high and being tossed about violently in the water.
Westpac Rescue Crewman Mark Cannell, Advanced Paramedic Russell Clarke and Pilots Bruce Joy and Steve Oliver discussed the pending job as they flew to their destination. Mark Cannell contacted the Skipper who was remarkably calm and asked him to deploy his life raft as it was too risky to winch him from the boat itself, “attempting a rescue from the vessel was going to be extremely dangerous if the rescue hoist came into contact with the yacht” said Mr Cannell. Rusell Clarke was then winched into the water near the yacht to assist the Skipper into the life raft. “He recognized that there was going to be a big problem being winched out of the small doorway of the life raft and decided to get into the heaving sea” explained Mr Cannell, “A quick thumbs up indicated he was ready for extraction.” The Skipper and Mr Clarke were winched on board the safety of the aircraft and transported to land with no injuries.

We cover Aotearoa, New Zealand

Find your local chopper to make a donation