Pair winched after crashing off cliff in Otago

Two people were winched after leaving a cliff near Oamaru on Monday evening.  (File photo)

Hamish McNeilly / Stuff

Two people were winched after leaving a cliff near Oamaru on Monday evening. (File photo)

Two people have been brought to safety after their car crashed off a 7m cliff onto a Waitaki beach in Otago on Monday evening.

The couple washed up on a small gravel beach, surrounded by high wet cliffs.

Emergency services were called to the scene at 9.30pm on Beach Rd, near Gees Rd in Kakanui, Waitaki District.

“A vehicle had rolled on a lawn above a 7m high cliff on the beach, with the tide and sea just reaching the vehicle,” police said in a statement.

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The two occupants washed up on a small gravel beach, surrounded by high wet cliffs, police said.

Fire crews from Kakanui, Weston and Oamaru attended, along with police and paramedics and members of Cliff Rescue from the Otago Search and Rescue team from Dunedin, as well as members of Cliff Rescue from the service Dunedin Fire Department.

The Dunedin Rescue Helicopter arrived with its winch crew and performed a winch operation in the dark to rescue the two occupants of the vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle was taken to Oamaru Hospital with minor injuries and the passenger was checked and released without injury.

Police are continuing to investigate how the crash happened, they said.

It was a lucky moment for the couple who needed to be rescued.

On Friday, members of Otago's Level Three Rope Rescue Team took part in an exercise in Dunedin, featuring a simulated rescue from a

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

On Friday, members of Otago’s Level Three Rope Rescue team took part in an exercise in Dunedin, featuring a simulated rescue of a “victim” from the bottom of a cliff. The team was involved in a real cliff rescue on Monday, rescuing two people who crashed off a cliff near Kakanui.

Just three days earlier on Friday, members of Otago’s Level Three Rope Rescue Team staged a mock rescue of a ‘victim’ from the bottom of a cliff, Fire and Emergency New said. Zealand (Fenz) in a Facebook post.

The drill included a firefighter rappelling down the cliff, hitching the “victim” into the basket, then guiding her as she was pulled up by other team members to the top.

“These drills are an annual requirement for our career firefighters to practice their specialty skills and be evaluated to maintain their level,” Fenz said.

The Dunedin-based team covered the whole of Otago and Southland and their skills were invaluable in a range of situations “including when a vehicle crashed down a steep incline”.