A Reporoa man has told of how a fishing trip was over in a flash after a fuel explosion at the Gull Service station in Paengaroa.

Adrian Gidlow's story has been published on the Philips Search and Rescue Trust website to highlight how the service can aid recovery.

Mr Gidlow and his two friends were on their way to Mayor Island for a weekend fishing trip, boat in tow, when they stopped at the Paengaroa Gull to fuel the boat.

"There was some fuel on the floor of the boat," he said in his patient story.


"I was in there cleaning it up and something ignited the fuel. Suddenly, whoosh, up it went."

Staff helped pull him out of the boat and doused him with a hose until the ambulance and the Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter arrived. The helicopter flew Mr Gidlow to Waikato Hospital, where he stayed for 24 days.

He had first-degree burns to his arms, hands and stomach, with more serious burns from his knees to his feet, which required skin grafts.

"Let's just say my sock modelling days are over," he told Philips Search and Rescue Trust.

"But it will have no long-lasting effects and I now just make periodic visits to the outpatients' clinic. From being all excited about a weekend's fishing to being rescued by the chopper, it was certainly a dramatic change to my weekend."