Reliability, Performance, Compliance

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NZ fisherman spots single flare

Marlborough Helicopter

A fisherman spotted a single distress signal that led to the rescue of a couple stranded overnight after their boat had been smashed on rocks in New Zealand.

Joel Nicklin went on an August early morning fishing trip when he spotted a red light in outer Marlborough Sounds.

It was a handheld flare from a couple who had been forced to spend a night on the beach below a steep cliff in Anakakata Bay, near Cape Jackson, after their boat was wrecked.

"They were very lucky. They could have easily had to stay another night there," Mr Nicklin told The Marlborough Express, reports Stuff.co.nz.

A rough swell made it impossible to get close but Mr Nicklin saw a man and a woman on the coastline and used a marine radio to call for help.

The stranded pair, from Marlborough, were airlifted to Wairau Hospital, in Blenheim, by the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter.

Pilot Barry McAuliffe said the man, 66, suffered minor injuries, while the woman escaped uninjured.

The jagged and rocky coast made it impossible for the helicopter to land so Mr McAuliffe hovered low enough to let the medic off to inspect the pair.

Mr Nicklin says the incident is a reminder for people to always prepare for the worst. "If you have common sense, you know Mother Nature can screw you in a second. Some people take safety for granted and don't put a value on their life. They think that it won't happen to them."

The image is from Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter’s Facebook page.

Sep 07, 2017