HEADLINE: Team effort to rescue injured man
BYLINE: By Peter de Graaf
Emergency services joined forces to rescue a man who spent almost 90 minutes in the water at Kerikeri's Rainbow Falls with a broken leg last week.
The drama began just after 2pm on Wednesday, when it is thought a group of visitors were climbing around the rocks that lead to a cavern behind the falls, slippery at the best of times but treacherous in Wednesday's rain.
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One member of the group, a 33-year-old man, fell on to rocks and broke a femur. A St John spokesman said his companions supported him, partly on the rocks and partly in the water, until help arrived.
First to reach the scene was the Kerikeri Fire Brigade, several firefighters swimming across the pool to reach the injured man and hold him out of the water.
Police, a St John ambulance and Far North Search and Rescue volunteers were also called out, a St John medic joining the other rescuers in the water to check the man's condition and apply first aid. Because of the difficult access, a rescue helicopter was also called out. The man was placed in a stretcher and winched into the helicopter as it hovered above the falls.
He was flown to Whangārei Hospital in a serious but not life-threatening condition, including mild hypothermia.