As visitor numbers to Tongariro National Park increase during the summer holidays, so does the involvement of rescue services.

Last Friday afternoon the Taupo-based Greenlea rescue helicopter was called out to three separate accidents in the park, and all involved flying victims to hospital for treatment.

The first callout, which occurred around 12.30pm, involved a 20-year-old who was going down the Mt Ruapehu's Bruce Rd on a longboard when he hit a crash barrier and broke both legs below the knees.

While he was being attended to by medical staff, the helicopter was called to assist an English tramper on the Tongariro Crossing who fell at Red Crater and broke her arm. With the woman on board, the rescue helicopter flew back to Bruce Rd, collected the longboarder and flew them both to Waikato Hospital.


Later in the afternoon the helicopter was back at Mt Ruapehu to pick up an 81-year-old man who had been staying in one of the ski huts further up the mountain. He had suffered a medical event and had to be transported to Rotorua Hospital.