Swimmer rescued after failing to swim from Petone to Somes Island

News from Life Flight Trust
A Lower Hutt man was rescued this morning when he suffered from hypothermia after a swim from Petone to Somes Island went wrong.

The Lower Hutt man, aged in his early 20s, was one of a group of four who set off from Petone around 1115am – three were swimmers and one was a kayaker.

“As I understand it, during the swim the man got separated from his swimming buddies but the kayaker stayed with him” says Dave Greenberg, Life Flight crewman. “The swimmer got into a bit of trouble but the kayaker was able to get him aboard the kayak. He then managed to wave down a passing boat which picked up the swimmer and brought him to the wharf at Somes Island”.

Once on Somes Island the man was assisted by Doc staff and visitors who included an off duty ambulance officer.

The man had spent about two hours in Wellington Harbour.

The ambulance was notified by a call to 111 and the Westpac rescue helicopter, which had just returned from a mission in the Wairarapa, was dispatched, with a Wellington Free Ambulance paramedic onboard.

On our arrival the man was found to be conscious but quite hypothermic. He had been stripped out of his wetsuit and given dry clothes and wrapped in blankets prior to the helicopter arriving.

The Life Flight Trust is a charity providing air rescue and air ambulance services. It operates the Wellington based Westpac Rescue Helicopter and a nationwide air ambulance service. It relies on support from the public and sponsorship from partners such as Westpac to provide these services. Further information can be obtained from www.lifeflight.org.nz

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