SEARCH AND RESCUE

Cave rescue underway

Thursday 6 November 2008, 5:53PM
By New Zealand Police
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TE KUITI

A multi-agency rescue team is currently being brought together to help evacuate a seriously injured woman trapped in an underground cave near Ngapaenga, west of Waitomo this afternoon.

Te Kuiti Sub-Area Manager, Senior Sergeant Robert Van Kalken, said Police were alerted to the situation around 2.35pm.

"We've had a report of a woman suffering a fall in the Lucky Strike Cave which is off Waipuna Rd, west of Waitomo.

"The woman was 40-60 minutes into the cave when the fall happened, she suffered a broken hip and lost three teeth and fell into a stream. A companion managed to pull her from the stream and cover her in a survival blanket before coming out to raise the alarm."

The woman was conscious at the time her companion left her.

Caving experts, Police, Search and Rescue and St John Ambulance staff have all been brought into the scene to assist with the rescue of the woman.

That rescue is estimated to take four to six hours to complete, a rescue helicopter is currently on standby to airlift the injured woman to hospital once she has been brought to the surface.