14 Oct 2010

NZ inventor proud to play part in miners' rescue

5:46 pm on 14 October 2010

A New Zealand inventor who created a bioharness used to help trapped miners in Chile says he is proud to be part of the rescue mission's success.

Thirty-three miners have been rescued after 10 weeks deep underground, following a rockfall that caused a tunnel to collapse at the San Jose mine.

Brian Russell invented the harness used to check miners' vital signs in his garage in the Auckland suburb of Papakura and is now chief executive of Zephyr Technologies in the United States.

The former Auckland University student told Morning Report that NASA and the Chilean government approached the company to help.

Mr Russell says the company worked with physiologists and doctors to monitor the miners while they were trapped and as they were rescued.

It did technical work with the Chilean navy to enable the data to be accessed.