Tue, Sep 7, 2021 4:12 PM

Helicopter winches fisherman in 'complex' water rescue

Rescue pilot Colby Tyrrell says they got the call that a crewman onboard a fishing boat was suffering from a medical event around 10.30am Monday. Photo: supplied.

Erin Bradnock

The Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter responded to a 'complex' call out Monday morning as a man suffered a medical incident onboard a fishing boat near Pepin Island.

Rescue pilot Colby Tyrrell says they got the call that a crewman onboard fishing boat 'Jennifer' was suffering from a medical event around 10.30am Monday.

Colby describes the boat as being 10 miles west of Pepin Island "bang in the middle of the bay".

The man had to be airlifted from the boat using a winch.

"It was quite a technical undertaking, you don't have the normal visual reference points that you have with a land winch," says Colby.

Colby says they were unable to come across a reference photo for 'Jennifer', instead, they had to rely on a painting of the vessel to map out a rescue plan.

"It was a dynamic space to tackle with rigging on the fishing boat and things you have to work around," says Colby.

The man was winched off of the boat and flown to Nelson Hospital within 45 minutes.

"This was one of the more complex tasks the aircraft will have to undertake," says Colby.

St John spokesperson Gerard Campbell says the man was transported to hospital in a serious condition.