The Life Flight Air Ambulance is currently on it's third mission of the last 18 hours.
Early this morning, around 2am, the plane flew to New Plymouth to retrieve a seriously ill patient from Taranaki Base Hospital back to Wellington Hospital ICU. The patient arrived in Wellington Hospital around 7 this morning. Immediately after this flight a Neonatal ICU team was sent to Palmerston North to retrieve a seriously ill premature baby who needed to come to Wellington Hospital Neonatal Unit for specialist care. The team spent several hours stabilising the baby for flight and returned to Wellington around 12 noon.
Soon after returning the team headed for Dunedin to retrieve two neonatal babies who were born a few days ago. The Life Flight Air Ambulance flew the pregnant mum down to Dunedin earlier in the week because of a shortage of Neonatal beds in Wellington. The twins are doing well and returning to Wellington Neonatal Unit so that they and their parents are back at their 'home' hospital.
The Wellington-based Westpac Rescue Helicopter flew an ICU team to Nelson Hospital around 10 this morning. The team transported a 20 year old Motueka man who was injured in a car accident early this morning.
Around 4pm this afternoon the Westpac Rescue Helicopter was requested to locate and rescue a kayaker in the Hutt River who had become separated from his kayak. The man was with a group of friends who came out of the river near Kaitoke and notified police. The helicopter team located the man sitting on a small island of rocks and winched a Wellington Free Ambulance paramedic to him. The man was cold and wet but otherwise OK - he was winched back into the helicopter and then flown to a waiting police car near Kaitoke.
"Today was a busy and rewarding day" says Dave Greenberg, Life Flight Operations Manager. "Despite the horrendous weather in and around Wellington our teams have been flying around NZ helping those who need the specialist care we help provide".