October 3, 2023

Watch: ‘New Zealander of the year’ – Helicopter pilot pulls off ‘amazing’ rescue in flood-ravaged Hawke’s Bay

Watch: 'New Zealander of the year' - Helicopter pilot pulls off 'amazing' rescue in flood-ravaged Hawke's Bay

Incredible footage has emerged of a helicopter pilot performing a daring rescue in flood-ravaged Hawke’s Bay. 

The footage was taken on Gilligan Road, just south of Napier, and posted on the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Facebook page. 

It shows the helicopter tentatively balanced on just one of its landing gear on the edge of a roof while the second landing gear hovers in mid-air. 

As the helicopter is tentatively balanced two people board the chopper before it delicately takes off. 

“Extreme courage, skill and hope on display here,” the Facebook caption read. 

“Thank you to Trevor for providing this incredible footage of a daring rescue at Gilligan Road today.

“Our first responders and partner agencies have been working tirelessly – thank you for what you’re doing to save lives.” 

People were quick to praise the pilot for the “amazing” rescue.

“I can not thank you enough for bringing my family to safety to me after hours of agony. The bravery, courage and absolute skill in the tasks you performed,” one person wrote on Facebook. 

Another person wrote, “New Zealander of the year I reckon” while another added, “Wow, absolutely amazing, thank you all for what you’re doing for our communities”. 

Hawke’s Bay has been one the hardest hit areas from Cyclone Gabrielle with many people forced to evacuate as floodwaters nearly completely submerged their properties.

Civil Defence said it’s going to be “up to a week” before power is fully restored to the region after flooding at the Redcliffe substation. For Napier it could be more than two weeks before power is restored.

About 1900 people sheltered in Civil Defence centres in the region overnight.

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