James was rescued deep in rugged terrain thanks to you!


In July, your Grassroots Trust Rescue Helicopter was tasked to an activated beacon in the rugged Tararua Ranges, up beyond Otaki Forks near the Waitewaewae Hut. 

Experienced hiker James had set out on a month-long hike heading to his finish point in Huntly, when he had to raise the alarm, signaling that he needed immediate assistance. 

Without hesitation, your rescue helicopter swiftly flew into the heart of the ranges, quickly reaching the location where the distress beacon had been activated. As the rescue helicopter crew arrived, they found themselves surrounded by dense bush below, making the search for James a challenging task. 

“We scoured the area, navigating above the thick foliage, and after a bit of a search we were fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of James, through a small opening in the tree canopy. We spotted him, aided by his remarkably effective strobing torch.” says Graeme - Crewman and Base Manager who was on the rescue helicopter that day. 

“Using our advanced winching capabilities, we carefully lowered Critical Care Flight Paramedic (CCFP) Schalk down to James’ position.  The CCFP Schalk provided an initial assessment of his condition and although James’ injuries were not critical, he had suffered a head injury the previous day and had subsequently twisted his knee.” Graeme says of the rescue. 

Prioritising James’ safety, the crew evacuated James, and both the CCFP and James were securely lifted, and quickly headed to Palmerston North Hospital. 

Having a personal locator beacon and a signaling device readily available, made all the difference in James’ rescue. Both played a crucial role in enabling the rescue helicopter crew to locate him amongst the challenging terrain. 

Your rescue helicopter is ready when you need it!