A Port of Tauranga straddle crane operator had to be rescued from his perch high above the Sulphur Point container wharf on Saturday after he suffered a medical collapse.

The rescue was launched about 8.20am by port staff, the Fire Service and St John Ambulance after the crane driver was unable to get out of the cab.

Mount Maunganui Fire Service station officer Steve Wright said a hydraulic rescue platform was raised to the same level as the driver who was then assisted out of the cab, put into a scoop stretcher and lowered down to a waiting ambulance.

Mr Wright said the man was semi-conscious and was able to make the job of getting him out of the cab a little easier.


"It was difficult getting him out of the cab. It was a manoeuvring issue."

The rescue took about 30 minutes. Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns was unable to be contacted for comment on the man's condition. He was taken to Tauranga Hospital.

In another Saturday callout, Mount firefighters attended a car crash on the corner of Maunganui Rd and Dee St at 1pm. A car turning out of Dee St was hit on the driver's door by a vehicle coming along Maunganui Rd.

Mr Wright said the circumstances of the rescue of the driver of the car that came out of Dee St were ''rather bizarre''.

"She proved quite a difficult patient."

The woman from a European country and spoke English as a second language.

"She was reluctant to receive help from ambulance staff, which is really unusual."

Although initial reports indicated she was trapped, she had freed herself. Mr Wright said they spent quite a while trying to coax her out of the car. Eventually, police and ambulance staff had to pull her out.


The driver's door had been pushed halfway across the driver's seat and she was in quite a confined space. When they got her out she appeared to be favouring one leg and was taken to hospital.

The heavy rain on Saturday saw a Mount fire crew called to a sleepout at a Penrhyn Place property in Arataki. The sleepout was threatened by rising waters because stormwater soak holes had not been cleaned out.

Mr Wright said the guys had been to the house before in heavy rain and told the occupants what the problem was.

In another weather-related callout on Saturday, the Te Puke Fire Brigade was called to a power line arcing outside a house on the main road at Waitangi. The crew checked that nothing was burning and then stood by until linesmen arrived to disconnect the house.

Te Puke was also called out in the early hours of Saturday morning after receiving a call that someone was attempting to set a rubbish bag alight underneath an empty shop verandah in the shopping centre.

Chief fire officer Glenn Williams said the bag had been moved to under the verandah but the attempt to light it failed.

He said it was hard to say what would have happened if the bag had caught alight. It was beside a concrete pillar but it could have cracked the large display window.

"Whether it would have got going, I'm not sure. But there was always a possibility," Mr Williams said.