Stranded couple rescued from Manawatu River, Awapuni | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

Stranded couple rescued from Manawatu River, Awapuni

A stranded couple were rescued from the Manawatu River, near Awapuni on Saturday afternoon.

The Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter responded to a call out around midday as two people were reported to be stranded in the middle of the river clinging onto a submerged branch.

On arrival at the scene, the pair had been joined by a Fire Service rescue swimmer.  All three were recovered to the safety of the river bank by the rescue helicopter crew using the rescue hoist and a recovery basket.

The two patients were treated at Palmerston North Hospital for hypothermia.


About Philips Search and Rescue Trust

Philips Search and Rescue Trust is a charitable organisation, operating rescue helicopters throughout the Central North Island. Philips Search and Rescue Trust relies on support from principal sponsors and community contributions. The Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter service has been made possible through the generosity of community donations. Principal sponsorship is currently being sought. This crucial financial support ensures our rescue helicopters can continue to bring life-saving equipment, rescue personnel and trauma-trained medics directly to the patient.

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We Need You

It could be you, your family, friends, staff or patrons that need us. Your support ensures the rescue helicopters are available in your community.

The Philips Search & Rescue Trust’s rescue helicopters can be airborne in 10 minutes, and in a life and death situation, this speed and agility can make all the difference. It is the timely assistance that the rescue helicopters provides that can reduce disability and improve survival - the sooner resuscitation and treatment begins the greater chance of patient recovery.

But the cost of this is huge. Philips Search & Rescue Trust’s rescue helicopters do not receive any funding from the New Zealand Government. Your local rescue helicopter does have contracts with ACC, DHB and New Zealand Police, but this only covers 47% of the operating costs. This means 53% of this must come from the community.

Without community support, your rescue helicopter would not be able to remain operational on a 24/7, 365 basis, which would mean a serious delay in people being rescued, or transported to and from hospital facilities for urgent treatment.

Becoming a supporter of your local rescue helicopters means you will be making a life-saving difference in your community.

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