Your support saved Scott | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

COVID 19 – UPDATE FROM YOUR RESCUE HELICOPTER

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Your support saved Scott

Seasoned hunter, Bruce Falconer, almost lost his son when he was shot.

“My two sons and I headed into the Otipi Track in the Raukumara Forest Park, east of Opotiki for the deer roar hunt.” Bruce recalled. “We headed 3km off the track down to a river. One son, Greg, was with me and the other son, Scott, crossed the river.  I gave a roar and a stag answered. Scott indicated he would go in the direction of the roar, I gave the affirmative and then he dropped out of sight.”

“30-40 seconds later, I saw a stag coming down the ridge Scotty had been on.  It went behind a bush, came further down the ridge, turned around and jogged back up the route because it must have caught Scotty’s scent.  I shot at it up through the trees.”

“We heard a terrible scream and didn’t register what it was…Was it a possum?  Scott?!”

“We scrambled across the river and up the ridge.  There he was.  He had ripped his clothes off from the waist up and had a hole in the left side of his lower spine, two inches in diameter, and an entry hole in his armpit.”

“I desperately reached for toilet paper in my backpack and stuffed it into the hole, covering it with my hand. We were in deep trouble. Greg went for help, collapsing twice from sheer exhaustion trying to get up to the track.  The nearest house was 15 kms away. Meanwhile, I was trying to keep Scotty alive. He reached out to me, saying dad, pray for me.”

“I heard an incoming chopper.  Hearing the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter flying in was like hearing an angel coming down from the sky.  It was amazing.  I can’t hear a chopper now without being affected by that sound.”

“The medics were dropped down through the canopy. The pilot managed to get a rope to us and the three of us were lifted out onto the Otipi track and from there to Rotorua Hospital, where Scott stayed for a week with two fractured ribs, a punctured lung and a spleen shot to pieces.”

“It appears the bullet had deflected off something and then hit Scotty.  I had assumed he had moved out of the firing zone.  I made a wrong assumption after all these years of hunting and nearly lost him.”

“The helicopter, the pilot, the medic, the winch man…they are all awesome.  And I have my boy!”

©Philips Search and Rescue Trust 2015. Image and content remain the property of Philips Search and Rescue Trust. 

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