A painful end to a fishing trip | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

A painful end to a fishing trip

It only takes one small slip of the foot to ruin a great summer’s day and Dennis Barnes of Whitianga can attest to that.

Like many locals and visitors to the Coromandel, Dennis went out for an enjoyable day’s fishing with three friends.  Returning with his catch, Dennis set about berthing the boat.  He stepped onto a floating pontoon, missed a step, went sprawling, and landed heavily on his left shoulder.

“I dislocated my arm and cracked a bone,” he said.  “The pain was 10 out of 10 – right up there!”

The Fire Brigade’s Operational Support chief was down at the wharf at the time along with Dennis’ wife who had arrived to meet him off the boat. An ambulance was soon on its way.   After assessment, the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter in Hamilton was dispatched to fly in and pick up Dennis, transporting him back to Waikato Hospital.

Without the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter Dennis would have had a very long and painful journey to hospital to receive the treatment he required.

“Dennis was in a great deal of discomfort when we arrived,” said crewman Bill McNeilly.

Four days later, Dennis was flown to Thames Hospital. Unfortunately on returning home Dennis developed pneumonia and pleurisy, which set back his recovery.

“I have a visit coming up in Hamilton and I’d love to visit the hangar and meet the crew while I’m there,” he said.

Dennis is now back to full health helped by your donation.  He is looking foward to being back on the boat, albeit with less drama, now that the warmer summer days lie just around the corner.

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Your rescue helicopter can be airborne in 10 minutes and, in a life or death situation, this speed and agility can make all the difference. The timely assistance that rescue helicopters provide can reduce disability and improve survival – the sooner treatment begins, the greater chance of patient recovery.

We are partially funded by a government contract with National Ambulance Sector Office (NASO). We rely heavily on the generosity of sponsors and the community to help fund the shortfall that allows us to be rescue ready 24/7, 365 days of the year. This crucial financial support ensures our rescue helicopter can continue to bring life-saving equipment, rescue personnel, and intensive care paramedics directly to the patient.

Without your support, your rescue helicopter would not be able to remain operational on a 24/7, 365 day a year basis. This could mean a serious delay in people being rescued or transported to hospital for urgent treatment.

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