It was meant to be an adventurous weekend, but things took a turn when Erin’s bike hit a pothole and she flew over the handlebars.
A keen tramper and cyclist, Erin and her group were 15kms into the Timber Trail bike ride in the dense Pureora Forest when the accident happened. She landed hard on her shoulder, with her e-bike landing on top of her.
Erin remembers sitting on the side of the trail, feeling helpless and in pain. She knew she was too far in to turn back and was facing another 25km ride ahead of her to get help.
Due to their location, cell phone reception was patchy, and Erin’s daughter had to hang from a tree to get a signal to call for help.
With no other way to get to her, the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter was dispatched. Due to the remote and dense terrain, Critical Care Flight Paramedic Rob had to be winched down to Erin. While Rob was assessing Erin’s injuries and preparing her for the flight, Pilot Nat flew off to search for a suitable landing site.
With nowhere safe to land nearby, the stretcher was winched down into a recently milled area. Erin was then secured in a harness and flown to the waiting stretcher. “I was carefully lowered straight on to the stretcher in my harness. The skill and accuracy of the pilot was incredible. I was then winched up on the stretcher and into the helicopter. In a short 20 minutes, I was at Rotorua Hospital”
“The rescue helicopter crew were incredible; Rob and I flew over the tops of the trees attached to the winch cable by the harness. Aside from the painful circumstances, it was quite an experience!” says Erin.
Without the rescue helicopter, Erin doesn't know how she would have got out of the forest that day. “The crew were so professional and so very careful in a challenging environment,” says Erin.
Rescues like Erin’s are only possible with your amazing support! Thank you for helping us be there when your community needs us.
Watch the video below to see the story of Erin's Rescue: