Swazi Stories

Swazi Jackets survive underwater

Helicopter Crash

Back in April, news spread around New Zealand after a helicopter crashed just off the Auckland Island in the Sub-Antarctic, 500kms south of Invercargill.  Inside was three of the country's most experienced rescue helicopter crew members on their way to rescue an injured person off a boat in the area.

The trio from Southern Lakes Helicopters managed to escape from the machine while it was in the water, at night, before swimming to shore in the freezing cold, and putting to use all of their survival skills in one of the most inhospitable locations on the planet.

After a freezing night out in the open, they were themselves rescued just before midday the following day.

We've just heard from John Lambeth who was the Paramedic on board that day.  He got in touch because the helicopter had just been recovered after 3 weeks in the Southern Ocean and inside were two St John's Advanced Paramedic jackets made by Swazi around 15 years ago. 

John had washed the jackets and said they looked ok, but wanted to check if there was anything else they should do to them.  "No, chuck them through a warm wash, actually maybe a couple of washes to be sure." was Davey's advice.  

He also mentioned that the Winchman, Lester Stevens got his standard 'other brand' random high-vis orange coat back.  3 weeks in the Southern Ocean and it's trash! 

Well done to the crewman from that day, Pilot Andrew Hefford, paramedic John Lambeth and winch operator Lester Stevens.  Really pleased to have you back out there saving lives, hopefully it's the last time someone has to come to your rescue.

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