Woman Successfully Winched To Safety

Posted by Waikato Police on 01/03/2012

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A short, fine break in the weather today allowed a helicopter to fly above a ridgeline and evacuate a seriously ill woman trapped in rugged terrain overnight.

Waikato Search and Rescue Coordinator, Constable Dave Pitchford, said the woman, who was 12-weeks-pregnant, but suffered a miscarriage had been stabilised by a St Johns paramedic and spent the night in Arches Hut on the Pomarangai Track waiting to be rescued.

"About 8.30am there was sufficient clear weather to allow a winch equipped helicopter to get in and winch her out and she is being flown to hospital as we speak.

"We're very grateful for the break in the weather and the ability of the crew to get the woman out given the only other alternative would have been to carry her out by stretcher which would have been a trial not only for the patient but the SAR crews as well."

Mr Pitchford said the woman's evacuation put to a close the third successful overnight search in the Waikato and a night where the efforts of a lot of different services and individuals had contributed to positive outcomes.

A 25 year old Zimbabwean man was found safe after spending a night in bush near Waitiomo and an elderly woman who was reported missing last night was also found.

"All parties involved have every reason to be proud of the outcomes of each search," he said.