David thanks you for winching him to safety | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

David thanks you for winching him to safety

David Bodsworth will always remember ANZAC Day as the day an unidentified Australian surfer rushed to help him in his time of need.

On April 25th 2017, while surfing at well-known Raglan surf spot, Bone Yards, David became separated from his board. It was during his attempt to swim to shore, that he was brutally dumped on a reef.  The impact from crashing onto rocks left David with serious injuries.

Stranded where he lay, he was spotted by a surfer who ran to assist, followed closely by several others. His rescuer immobilised him in case of serious spinal injuries, and administered basic first aid to compress his head wound.

The Raglan Fire Service were next on the scene and David was carefully transferred to a stretcher and moved out of danger from the incoming tide. Rescuers knew they needed to get David off the rocks as quickly as possible and an urgent call went to the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter. The hovering helicopter performed a skilled winch operation, lifting David to safety and onwards to Waikato Hospital.

“I was very relieved to have avoided an ambulance ride on the rough and windy Raglan to Hamilton road.” David said.

Post-accident, and on the mend, David has spent the last few months slowly working his way back to full-time work, well aware that his injuries could have left him paralysed.

“With physiotherapy my body is complaining less. I hope to be able to enjoy surfing again one day, but at the moment I am just grateful that I had the help I needed,” he said.

“Many thanks to the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew. I have now become a supporter of the rescue helicopter. They are a great service.”

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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.

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