30 January, 2024
Crew from No. 3 Squadron, flying an NH-90 helicopter, responded to a search and rescue callout on the weekend after a solo tramper with a dislocated hip activated his personal locator beacon.
Maritime NZ's Rescue Coordination Centre NZ coordinated the search after receiving the alert from the tramper’s beacon at 7.30am on Saturday.
Very poor weather conditions at the tramper’s location at Dorset Ridge meant the team could neither winch down or even locate the tramper. Instead, the helicopter team opted to pick up a three-person ground search team from Masterton. They were flown into a valley about one kilometre from the man’s location.
Two hours later the ground search team located the man, unable to move and in significant pain. As the weather improved, the NH-90 was able to fly to the location and winch down an RNZAF medic. After administering pain relief, the team were able to winch the tramper aboard on a stretcher, followed by the ground search team.
The tramper was flown to Masterton and transferred by ambulance to hospital.