Thursday, 1 June 2023 - 3:39pm

Mountains to the sea (with video)

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News article photos (4 items)

Winch training with Air Force NH90 at Hawke's Bay Airport.
Hawke's Bay Police SAR team prepares to be winched from Air Force NH90.
Members of Hawke's Bay Police SAR team being winched out over Kaweka Ranges.

Working alongside our partners was the focus of a Hawke’s Bay Search and Rescue training day over the weekend.

The Hawke’s Bay Police Search and Rescue team joined with the Royal NZ Airforce, Hawke’s Bay Land SAR, Hawke’s Bay Coastguard and Hawke’s Bay Airport.Winch on Kawekas.

The morning was spent at Hawke’s Bay Airport undertaking winch training with the Air Force from an NH90 helicopter. The team was briefed on safety around the helicopter and practised getting in and out of the chopper.

The training culminated in a flight to the top of the Kaweka Ranges, where staff were winched down, left for a while, and picked up again with full kit.

Hawke’s Bay Search and Rescue Coordinator Senior Sergeant Andy Knox says they included some members of the Hawke’s Bay Land SAR’s Rapid Response team.

“The LandSAR Rapid Response Team are often the first people deployed into the hills when a search gets under way so that we can locate people quickly, deploy communications or locate clues,” says Andy.

For the second half of the day, the squad ventured over to the Hawke’s Bay Coastguard Headquarters in Napier and spent the afternoon on the Coastguard launch.

“The team were put through their paces learning to use equipment to recover bodies from the water.”

Andy says it is vital to be able to train with the partners they work with in a search.

“When we are deployed to a real-life search, we always work alongside our partners, so to be able to train with them and build on our current relationships is invaluable.”