Worker trapped in effluent pond

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Emergency services were called to an Awanui Straight dairy farm, 3 kilometres north of Kaitaia, yesterday morning when a farm manager became trapped in an effluent pond pump.

John Naera, who was believed to have been suspended waist deep in the pond for an hour or more before he was found and emergency services were called, was freed when a digger was used to lift the pump, enabling him to haul himself backwards along a boom to the bank. He was initially treated at the scene by a St John ambulance crew before being admitted to Kaitaia Hospital with a broken leg.

According to police Mr Naera had made his way along the boom, which lowered under his weight, the large pump at the end rolling over towards him and trapping him by the right lower leg. His shoulders were covered with a thermal blanket while rescuers worked to free him but he was clearly in severe pain as the digger began lifting the pump.

Sergeant Alison Holdaway said the accident would be referred to the Department of Labour.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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