Non-fatal drowning on the Tongariro River | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

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Non-fatal drowning on the Tongariro River

At around 10.30am on Thursday, the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter was dispatched to the Tongariro River in Turangi.

Arriving at the scene after only a minute’s flight, the on-duty crew received word of the woman’s condition.

A woman in her 70’s was taking part in an annual Trout Fishing Competition along the Tongariro River. She was spotted unconscious by another fellow fisherman who managed to pull her up alongside the riverbank.

The fisherman quickly began CPR. Shortly after being alerted, PRIME doctors, Turangi Volunteer Fire (FENZ), Omori First Response (volunteer), St John Ambulance, and Police all arrived on the scene.

A massive team response, working together to keep the woman stabilised at the scene. Intensive Care Paramedic – Nigel Bryant performed an RSI on the woman. This meant her breathing was supported and the crew could safely transport her to the Emergency Department at Taupo Hospital.

Due to changing weather conditions, the call was made to dispatch the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter – with IFR capabilities. The Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew met the Greenela Rescue Helicopter crew so they could get her to Waikato Hospital as soon as possible where she received immediate medical treatment.

A few of the woman’s fellow fisherman friends banded together to gift smoked trout to the crews that worked so hard to get their friend to a hospital.

A successful collaboration by everyone involved for the best outcome for the patient.

We here at the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter have a policy of keeping the media informed of our work. We do this as a service to the media and in an effort to raise our profile with the public to assist with our fundraising campaigns. Our service is only possible because of sponsor support and donations. We appreciate seeing our name in any stories utilising information supplied by us.

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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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