Generosity: Queenstown Alpine Cliff Rescue Team coordinator Russ Tilsley, right, with Heliworks’ Nick Nicholson, left, and Lakes District Air Rescue Trust chairman Jules Tapper

Queenstown’s Lakes District Air Rescue Trust (LDART) and Heliworks have made it much easier for people to be rescued in tricky terrain.

LDART’s donated the Queenstown Alpine Cliff Rescue Team — part of Wakatipu Search & Rescue — a $20,000 HEC (human external cargo) longline which, attached to a chopper, pulls people to safety.

And Heliworks’ CEO Nick Nicholson’s donated another $20,000 for the rope, which was made in the United States, to be certified in New Zealand.

Cliff rescue team coordinator Russ Tilsley says it’s a very important piece of rope as they often carry out rescues in inhospitable terrain where you can’t land a chopper.

‘‘About half the time it’s going to take too long to walk in.’’

A team member will hang underneath the chopper, and when someone’s found they’ll either pull them up straight away or get dropped down

‘‘We get them ready and they’ll come back and pick us up.’’

Tilsley says they perform at least four or five such rescues a year.

LDART also donates about $30,000 a year for team members to remain up-to-date with their training requirements.

Its chair, Jules Tapper, says ‘‘a lot of people don’t realise you can train people but then they have to have recurrent training every 90 days if they haven’t been on the strop’’.

‘‘The guy underneath the machine and the pilot and other crew have to know exactly what they’re doing and be able to coordinate.’’

Meanwhile, LDART’s also donated a titanium single-wheel stretcher to Wakatipu Search & Rescue, which came to another $20,000.

‘‘That’s another significant piece of equipment,’’ Tilsley says.

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