The Greenlea Rescue Helicopter was dispatched to the Tauranga-Taupo River on Tuesday 21 February to search for the lost kayaker.
The alarm had been raised by the kayakers friend, who had scrambled, in the dark, up a bank to get out of the river and then walk over 5km to get mobile phone reception.
Using a mobile phone locator, the man’s general position was logged. The rescue helicopter was able to determined his exact position with the use of night vision googles.
A ground crew in 4wd vehicles were led by the rescue helicopter along forestry trails to the closest ridge above the man’s position. Once the ground crew had reach the man, it was intended to walk him out to safety. However it was then discovered that he had been involved in a non-fatal drowning and his friend has performed CPR on him.
The rescue helicopter was then used to hoist the man to safety and transport him to Taupo Hospital for treatment.