A male hang glider was taken to Auckland City Hospital after suffering moderate injuries in a crash this afternoon on Great Barrier Island.

At 1.25pm Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew went to a remote northeastern part of the island to help the man in his early 20s.

The man was found at 2pm at an area inaccessible by road and had injuries to his upper arms with potential breaks to one arm.

The man was still fully harnessed in due to his injuries.


Marcel Driessen, the Intensive Care paramedic who helped the hang glider, said it sounded as if he had just taken off when the wind grabbed him and threw him back to the ground.

"[He was] very lucky he didn't land in the water because it could've been a whole different kettle of fish," said Driessen.

He said the hang glider would have struggled to get out of his gear in time and could have easily drowned.

"Luckily he was in the sand dunes and easy to spot from the air."

But Driessen said the rescue was "was quite hard, it was really windy and there was sand blowing everywhere."

The crewman, doctor and paramedic treated him and the helicopter departed the scene at 2.30pm and landed at the hospital 25 minutes later.

Driessen said the man had hang glided before but the conditions were gustier than he was used to.

He said the victim may need an operation to treat the injuries.