Man winched to safety after cliff fall

Westpac rescue helicopter in action. Photo / File
Westpac rescue helicopter in action. Photo / File

A man who was seriously injured when he fell 100m down a steep cliff on Wellington's southwest coast was hoisted to safety in bad weather this morning.

The man in his 20s had been staying with friends at a hut near Boomrock Lodge, about 3km north of Makara Beach, when he fell down the nearby cliff about 12.30am.

Life Flight crewman Julian Burn said the Westpac rescue helicopter searched for the man for an hour, but had to turn back about 2am due to increasingly bad weather in the area.

Rescuers later found the man in some flax bushes about 100m down the cliff.

Mr Burn said rescuers performed a tricky high-angle rope rescue to hoist him back to the top.

The man was then treated by Wellington Free Ambulance paramedics back at the hut.

However, paramedics were unable to take him to hospital due to the rain, which made the off-road access track and roads too dangerous for even 4WD vehicles.

By 7.15am the weather had improved considerably, which allowed the Westpac rescue helicopter to land directly beside the hut.

The man was quickly loaded into the helicopter and taken to the Wellington Hospital emergency department to be treated for serious injuries.


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