An injured paraglider was spotted by drone. Photo: Supplied.

Drone rescue for paraglider

A seriously injured paraglider was rescued from remote farmland after he was spotted by a drone.

Emergency crews spent 45 minutes searching for the paraglider who crashed about 12.45pm on Monday.

A drone pilot, called into help police and fire crews find the missing man, discovered him at Longpoint near Ward Beach.

The injured man is believed to have spinal injuries and warned rescuers he is also a possible Covid-19 risk.

He was flown by helicopter to Wellington Hospital shortly after 2.10pm.

A police spokeswoman says emergency services were alerted at 12.45pm.

“Emergency services responded to a report of a paraglider crashing on a farmland near Ward Beach Road around 12.45pm.

“The person was located around 1.30pm and flown to hospital with serious injuries.”

The paraglider was unable to activate his locator beacon due to his injuries.

Four-wheel drive vehicles searched farmland in the area where the man was last seen.

But it was a drone pilot who spotted the man on the ground around 50 metres from the sea.

The man has told emergency personnel he has had recent contact with a couple who have possibly been exposed to Covid-19.

Emergency workers were alerted to the possibility of infection and will follow procedures.

The relieved tramper, second from right, with members of LandSAR Marlborough at Pelorus. Photo: Supplied.

Lost tramper sparks bush rescue

A disorientated tramper has been rescued after mistakenly following trap line markers instead of the track.

Search and Rescue teams were alerted on Saturday afternoon that a woman was lost in the Pelorus River area after police received a 111 call.

The team spent four hours in 28-degree heat tracking the missing walker who was later discovered dehydrated but unhurt.

The LandSAR Marlborough field team leader says a full tracking team were deployed to Pelorus after police got a ping from her cell phone.

“Once panic set in, the lost person realising they don’t make good decisions when panicked, stopped and called emergency services and was instructed to stay put until rescued.

“The reason for getting lost was following pink trapline markers.

“Track markers in NZ are orange and this is the leading cause of people getting lost in our bush.

“Trap lines are a set distance and then stop. Quite often people will continue trying to find these pink markers and get lost when they can’t find them,” he says.

The woman, who is not from Marlborough, was in contact with the Incident Management Team via text.

She was praised by the field leader for keeping calm.

He says people in her situation should stay in one place and wait for help.

“She did exactly what she should have,” he says.

By using whistles, the field team managed to find the approximate area where the lost tramper was.

“The field team had a rough location and was conducting a soundline; a process of blowing whistles, along the track.

“By now, the team was in deep bush and the lost person could no longer hear whistles or people so we backtracked and regrouped.

“We found her about 500m from where we originally were over a ridge and in another gully.”

The woman was discovered at 5.20pm, safe and well but thirsty and hungry and was back at Pelorus Bridge by 6.30pm.

She did not require medical attention.

“Thanks to all those who responded, the team back at base including AREC, the field team who deployed including the logistical support who returned an exhausted team safely back to base at 8pm

The team is always much bigger than just the team in the field,” the spokesman says.

Field team

Dean Boyce (Operational Tracker) Jason Jones (Operational Tracker) Mandy Smith (Field Team Member) Kerry Lammas (Operational Tracker/team leader Lew Bright (logistic support and containment) Incident Management Team Julia Eason (IMT) Kimberley Karaitiana (IMT) Ron Harris (AREC) Paul Rennie (AREC)

Stephen and Dianne Byrne were hurt in a crash along with their children as they traveled to Blenheim for a gymnastics competition. Photo: Supplied.

Car accident leaves dad and daughter in critical condition

Seven-year-old Gracie Byrne was on her way to support her brother at a gymnastics competition in Blenheim when she was critically injured in a car accident.

The family of four from Christchurch were heading to the annual Schools’ Gymnastics Festival at Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 when their car careered off the road.

Her dad Steven, 41, was also badly hurt in the crash which injured her older brother Evan, 13, and mum Dianne.

Gracie was transferred to Auckland’s Starship Hospital where she was yesterday in intensive care in a stable condition.

Members of Blenheim’s close-knit gymnastics community have expressed their shock and say their thoughts are with the girl’s family.

Blenheim Gymnastics Club spokesman Tony Quirk says the South Island clubs are very close.

“As a club we feel very much for the family.

“The gymnastic fraternity is very close especially within the South Island given we have so much contact.

We pray for their full recovery,” he says.

The family’s car flipped several times before rolling to a stop on its side in a paddock near Okaramio on Saturday.

Both father and daughter were rushed by Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter to Wellington Hospital.

Evan and Dianne were taken to Wairau Hospital by ambulance where a spokeswoman says there were in a stable condition at the time of going to press on Monday.

The talented young gymnast is from the Christchurch School of Gymnastics.

Spokeswoman Avril Enslow says Grace is a trampoline member and was travelling with her family to the competition with her brother who was entered.

“The gymnast is Evan Byrne 13 years, he has bruising and cracked ribs and jaw pain he is not totally cleared yet but looks to be able to travel home tomorrow (Wednesday).

“His mother Dianne will be medically transferred to Auckland to be close to her daughter.

“Dad is doing better and maybe released back to Christchurch later this week. It was a horrific crash caused by a medical event.

Emergency services were called to the scene north of Blenheim on SH6 about 12.35pm on Saturday.

The Serious Crash Unit were on the scene until around 3.35pm when the road was reopened.

A Givealittle page has been set up by a close friend of the family, Andy Milne. More than $3000 was donated within a few hours.

To donate visit

Fire crews win battle over Ward blaze

A blaze believed to be caused by a train carriage derailment is out.

Fire crews tackled a blaze alongside SH1, thought to be caused by a train carriage derailment this afternoon.

Two crews from Ward and crews from Seddon and Rarangi battled a fire between Ward and the Ure River, three kilometres south of Ward.

Spanning 20 metres in length, the fire is believed to be connected to an incident involving a KiwiRail Ltd freight train.

There is no threat to road traffic, but trains have been stopped as a precaution.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman says a train had caused the damage.

“It’s been caused by the train somehow. There are reports of damage to sleepers, like something was dragged along,” he says.

A helicopter has been called in to tackle a blaze which crews cannot get to by road.

The derailment of a KiwiRail carriage was reported to emergency services at about 2.15pm.

“A wagon on a freight service travelling north on the Main North Line partially derailed near Taimate this afternoon,” a KiwiRail spokeswoman says.

“KiwiRail is investigating the cause of the derailment, and its possible link to two fires beside the tracks,” she says.

There were no injuries and the wagon remains upright on the tracks, the spokeswoman says.

Rail services have been suspended while investigations are underway.