'No Thanks' to rescue helicopter A stranded New Zealand diver turned down a lift by rescue helicopter – because he was afraid of heights.
The incident, which occurred just before Christmas, involved two divers who, after entering the sea off Island Bay in the Cook Strait, were left stranded when their dive boat lost power and drifted away. The boat put out an emergency call and a rescue helicopter and police launch arrived on site.
One diver was spotted in the sea near Island Bay’s Taputeranga Island, and was tended by the launch. When the other was spotted on a rock close to the island, the helicopter headed over to hoist him up. But when the lift man arrived alongside him, the diver refused to go, saying he was afraid of heights.
He said he would prefer to stay put a while longer and wait for the police launch. The winchman retreated and the diver duly swam out from the rock when the launch arrived to pick him up.