A 26-year-old New Zealand man's habit of chasing wild goats has resulted in him being winched by a rescue helicopter and flown to hospital after falling 40 metres down a cliff. It was not the first time the man had found himself in hospital after chasing goats for fun, flatmate Serah Taylor said. The 26-year-old had been chasing goats on nearly vertical terrain on Tuesday morning when he lost his footing and fell backwards.
Ms Taylor heard the man yelling for help on the Tangoio farm, north of Napier, where they live. She initially thought the sound was a cow. It was the second time the man had injured himself while chasing goats. The first time, he broke his ankle. "He likes to catch them," she said. "Maybe now he's learned not to play with goats." She said she discovered him lying immobile and "still slipping" down the steep cliff face and called emergency services.
Hawke's Bay fire area commander Chris Nichol said the man had avoided a few large rocks on his way down the cliff, which was "very steep". The man was lying about three-quarters of the way down the cliff when emergency services arrived. St John Heretaunga territory manager Brendon Hutchinson said he found the man in a "moderate to serious" condition. Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter pilot Jeremy Bruce said due to the nature of the landscape and the amount of pain the man was in, he was put on a stretcher and winched up to the hovering helicopter.
He was in "an extreme amount of pain" and had to be given "a fair amount of pain relief", Mr Bruce said. The man was flown to Hawke's Bay Hospital for further treatment. A hospital representative said the man was in a stable condition. Ms Taylor said paramedics at the scene suspected the man had broken his spine but the family was relieved to learn that he hadn't. However, he had injured a few ribs and had minor leg injuries. Mr Nichol said St John, the fire service and the rescue helicopter "worked well together" at the scene and it was "a good team effort, really". The wild goats the man had been chasing were long gone by the time emergency services arrived.