School praised for effective safety plan after injured student airlifted out of Mackenzie Basin

The Mackenzie Basin is in the middle of the South Island.
The Mackenzie Basin is in the middle of the South Island. Photo credit: Google Maps

A high school student was airlifted out of the Mackenzie Basin on Friday night, in an incident one rescuer says sets the gold standard for preparedness.

The Rescue Coordination Centre said the group of 30 senior students and four adults had begun a four-day tramp and rafting trip when the incident happened.

A personal locator beacon was set off at 7:30pm and the student was taken by rescue helicopter to Dunedin Hospital in a moderate condition.

The centre's senior search and rescue officer Chris Henshaw said the school did all the right things.

"The college had a very good safety plan in place with staff at the college knowing the full details of the trip. They carried two personal locator beacons and an in-reach tracker, which was able to communicate out by satellite the situation.

"[It's] very much the gold standard. With a full safety plan in place, it was great.

"We knew what the situation was and could then advise the helicopter."

He declined to say what the medical emergency was.