Boy's survival 'miraculous' after 100m fall

5:55 am on 7 December 2015

A rescue helicopter crew member has described the 'miraculous' survival of a teenager who fell 100 metres down a rocky hill in Wairarapa.

Julian Burn, from the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, airlifted the boy to Wellington hospital after he had a medical episode and lost his footing on the Deliverance Cove track near Castlepoint on Saturday morning.

Mr Burn said the boy managed to avoid hitting the rocks before landing on the track below, but needed spinal immobilisation before he could be winched on to the helicopter from the remote spot.

The teenager had severe injuries and the fact that he was alive and able to say his name after falling about 100m was surprising, he said.

"Certainly it was a huge fall and the fact that he was alive, that was one thing, and to be conscious was quite surprising as well.

"Normally when you have somebody who's had a fall of that sort of distance you'd expect to see some pretty serious injuries. He should go and buy a lotto ticket, the fact he survived is pretty miraculous."

Mr Burn said the boy, in his late teens, may have fallen after he lost consciousness.

But he said by the time the helicopter crew arrived the teenager was conscious and knew his name and where he was.

Winching him and a paramedic on to the helicopter was difficult due to turbulence coming off the hills Mr Burn said.

"He was conscious throughout the winch and conscious throughout the flight back to Wellington Hospital which was great news."

Mr Burn said it was speculation, but it was more likely that he had rolled rather than tumbled the 100 metres down the steep hill face.

"If you tumbled that I'd be expecting a different sort of scenario when we got there. There was no obvious head injuries."

The boy was walking with a group of people that included his mother when he fell, said Mr Burn, and lifting him onto the immobiliser was a team effort.

"(We) came around the corner and they were all waving... and helped immobilise him. The Wellington Free (Ambulance) paramedics arrived on the scene who'd hiked up and gave a hand. We (then) put the foot down to get him back to Wellington."

Mr Burn said the boy was in a stable condition.