It was a busy day yesterday for rescue helicopter crews as the subtropical storm ravaged parts of the country.

Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter was called to a number of incidents around the North Island yesterday, including a man who cut his hand with a chainsaw in Kaiaua where the storm and a king tide caused flooding and evacuations.

Crews were called to Kaiaua just after 10.30am to assist the man in his 60s who slipped and cut his hand while clearing fallen tree debris on the road.

The man was flown to Middlemore Hospital in a moderate condition.

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Wet weather saw the rescue helicopter flying low and along the coastline for better visibility.

The rescue helicopter in Kaiaua where the storm and a king tide caused chaos. Photo/Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust
The rescue helicopter in Kaiaua where the storm and a king tide caused chaos. Photo/Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust

The rescue chopper also attended a fatal car crash near Dannemora in east Auckland yesterday afternoon.

One person died and a male in his 20s was critically injured in the crash involving a car and ute, which happened on Whitford Rd at 5.40pm. The second patient was taken to Auckland Hospital by ambulance with the rescue helicopter's medical crew aboard.

A kayaker comes to the rescue of a struggling man in the Manukau Harbour. Photo/NZ Police
A kayaker comes to the rescue of a struggling man in the Manukau Harbour. Photo/NZ Police

Crews were also involved in rescuing a man after he got into trouble on the Manukau Harbour.

Police were called to the scene at 2.30pm after the man fell from his dinghy, life jacket-less, while trying to salvage a floating telephone pole.

The Eagle helicopter was sent, and Senior Constable Mike Moore opted to get into the water to give the man a rescue tube until a full water rescue could happen.

In the meantime, a kayaker saw the scene unfold and launched into the harbour to help.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter arrived shortly after and the struggling man was winched from the water. He was subsequently taken to hospital for treatment of hypothermia.

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Senior Constable Moore swam to shore with the help of the kayaker.

"The efforts of the kayaker in assisting this rescue in such poor conditions must be commended," Air Support Unit supervisor Sergeant Callum Young said.

"It is often expected that emergency services staff will find themselves in challenging situations such as this but for a member of the public to put themselves at risk in such horrible conditions to help save a stranger is simply outstanding."