Rescue Operation

By NZ Herald | Posted: Thursday June 11, 2020

Corporal Tom Hanson was the loadmaster and hoist operator who lifted the pair missing from Kahurangi National Park to safety.

Tom is an Old Boy of Otago Boys' and attended school here from 2012 -2016.   Tom's dream was to join the Air Force, Tom trained on NH90 helicopters at his home base Ohakia. 

Tom spoke about how it was a fairly challenging task.

"Just due to the nature of the terrain and their location."We had trees, a thick canopy, and about a 3 metre clearing to extract them from.

"On the left hand side of the aircraft we had about 25 feet below the the main rotor of the aircraft to the trees, and on the right hand side as the terrain dipped away we had about 50 feet."

"Relying on training in those moments where the pressure really comes on, we got the good outcome."

It took just a few seconds for each person to be winched up, he said.

"They were just stoked to be saved, and for Jessica especially very emotional. They were just very, very pleased."

We are proud to call Tom an old boy.