Christine is so grateful for your help in getting her safely out of the forest


Active Christchurch couple, Christine and her husband Alan, had driven up to the central north island for an adventure-filled holiday.

“We had planned a couple of adventures for Easter weekend, the first was to hike the Tongariro Crossing and the second was cycling the Pureora Timber Trail.

“A weather system from the South bringing snow had shortened our planned hike for our Tongariro adventure, but the sun came out brilliantly for our bike ride on the Timber Trail.” said Christine.

The couple were riding the challenging bike trail with friends, and it was the second day of cycling the trail where Christine’s adventure took a turn.

Just beyond the magnificent Maramataha suspension bridge, the trail takes a sharp and tricky uphill bend, then it is a steady 2.5km uphill climb to reach the ridge.

“During the second day of our Timber Trail ride, I unfortunately failed to navigate a sharp corner just after the swing bridge. I fell off my bike, rolled a couple of times, and dropped a short distance off the track painfully onto my shoulder. 

“One of our group had a PLB and was ahead of Alan and I, so a group of riders who came across me injured and in need of help, sent a couple of riders on ahead to ask him to come back. There was no cellphone coverage where we were deep in the forest.” Christine says.

Your Greenlea Rescue Helicopter crew were tasked to the mission, and with the GPS coordinates of where Christine lay injured, were soon flying over the forest.

Pilot and Base Manager Jase says... “It was a beautiful autumn morning as we descended the western slopes of the Pureora Range where we began to pick up the signal from a personal locator beacon. 

“I had ridden the Timber Trail myself just two weeks prior, so as we located Christine and her party near the Maramataha Bridge, I could recall the location where Christine had fallen as the trail veers sharply and begins to climb up the hill immediately after the bridge.

“Although there were structures and cables near the bridge, we decided to lower Critical Care Flight Paramedic Rob down at the end of the bridge, as it was the clearest area in the vicinity. 

“It was a stunning view as we approached over the steep ravine and slowed to a hover near a large Rimu tree where Crewman Annika was able to lower CCFP Rob down right beside Christine.” 

Christine was located about 45km’s in to the trail and it would have been extremely difficult to get to her any other way other than by rescue helicopter.

Christine said of her experience... “I’m so grateful to the team on the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter that came to my aid. The crew were so skilled and professional, I felt so relieved to see them and I knew I was in safe hands.

“CCFP Rob was expertly lowered down. He was very calm, kind and confident; giving me pain relief and putting my arm in a temporary splint to take pressure off my shoulder joint.

“I’m not great with heights, but CCFP Rob made me feel secure during the winch up to the rescue helicopter and the subsequent ride to a clearing where they could land safely to transfer me into the aircraft for the flight to Rotorua Hospital.” said Christine of her ordeal.

Christine sustained three fractures in her humerus, through the neck and head of the bone.

“The team that day enabled me to get prompt medical attention and saved me from a very long, difficult and very painful walk and ride out of the area, and from further injury to the joint. A huge thank you to the crew, Rob, Jason and Annika. I really appreciate your kind help. You do such an amazing and important job.” says a very grateful Christine.

This is the difference you make with each and every donation. Thank you!