Jamie Morton

Jamie Morton is the NZ Herald's science reporter.

Perilous ridge-top rescue for trapped man

A worker who fell down a Bay of Plenty landslide site had to be rescued from a ridge 50m high above a highway amid atrocious weather conditions last night.

The man had been in a two-man team surveying the site of a landslide in the Waioeka Gorge near Sandy Creek yesterday afternoon when he slipped and fell, injuring his shoulder and left unable to walk.

Police, fire, ambulance and search and rescue teams were called to the site after his workmate flagged down a passing motorist, who raised the alarm around 5pm.

Whakatane Police sergeant Dennis Foster said the injured worker had ended up on a ridge about 50m above State Highway 2, and the Whakatane Emergency Rescue Team were tasked with the dangerous extraction.

Making matters worse, the weather had "deteriorated dramatically", he said.

"The weather was cold and wet with increasing wind, making the extraction off the unstable surface more problematic."

The man was eventually recovered to a waiting ambulance shortly before 10pm, before being taken to Whakatane Hospital for treatment.

- NZ Herald

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