The “ultimate catch” prize boat.
A new week-long fishing competition to raise money for Auckland Regional Helicopter Trust (ARHT) begins on Saturday, April 3.
The inaugural Humminbird Fishing Tournament will have a $100,000 prize pool.
It is a “measure only” competition with pictures submitted online to encourage anglers to catch and release.
Ticket holders are permitted to submit fish caught anywhere during the competition time frame.
The prizegiving will be held on Saturday, April 10, at the Omaha Beach Golf Club and will include a day of entertainment.
A helicopter will be on display for the event, giving the public the chance to see the inner workings of a rescue helicopter.
Crew will be demonstrating resuscitation and CPR, and giving a talk on the differences between rescues on land and at sea.
There will be a series of auctions for donated prizes, including a round at the Omaha Beach Golf Club, and a rescue crewman cooking one of the winners a smoked fish dinner in their home.
There will also be live music performed by country music band Keith Pereira and The Trail Benders.
The public is invited to attend the event free of charge, even if they have not purchased a ticket for the fishing competition.
Competition tickets are $70 or $20 for children from Warkworth Hunting and Fishing and
It is hoped the new fishing competition will raise $100,000 for the rescue helicopter.
Boat prize up for grabs
Every ticket purchased will be eligible for a $45,000 prize draw, consisting of a 4.8m Marco Boat, a Yamaha 60hp motor and a Humminbird sounder.
The package was put together by Murray Rowe, of Rodney Marine, with support from Marco, Yamaha and Humminbird.
He says it is an ideal kit for fishing in Kawau Bay or the wider Hauraki Gulf, with plenty of space and good stability.
It also comes with a trailer imported by Rodney Marine and assembled to spec in Warkworth.
“It is a turnkey package for going out fishing,” Murray says.
The Humminbird VHF sounder finds fish, shows depth and has a positioning map.
Humminbird is the major sponsor of the competition, providing $25,000 worth of prizes and cash.
Murray will also donate $50 to ARHT for every ticketholder that books in a service with Rodney Marine.
He says he hopes the competition will be an annual event and intends to support it for years to come.
Trevor’s tractor incident proves chopper’s worth
Last year, Leigh’s Trevor Hackett benefitted from ARHT’s rescue service when he was severely injured by a tractor.
Trevor had stopped his tractor to move a feeding trough. Although he applied the handbrake, the tractor began to roll prompting him to chase it down.
As he leaned over to apply the foot brake, his overalls got caught in the tread of one of the rear wheels and pulled him under.
The tractor trampled over his leg, back and head, leaving him severely injured.
Trevor says the seclusion of his lifestyle block is one of its best charms, but he could have been dead if an earthworks contractor hadn’t happened to be on site.
The contractor was alerted that something was wrong when the tractor fell 30 metres from a cliff onto the site where he was working to clear a slip.
It was immediately apparent to Leigh Volunteer Fire Brigade first responders that Trevor’s stomach had been distorted resulting in major internal bleeding.
Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew arrived within half an hour, with both an intensive care paramedic and a pre-hospital doctor, allowing procedures usually reserved for the emergency room to be performed immediately.
“It was the helicopter that ultimately saved my life,” Trevor says.
His injuries included 11 broken ribs and a ruptured spleen and liver.
Trevor’s recovery continues. He still walks slowly, despite an operation in December to rebuild his foot, and he awaits further surgery.
“I’m still not 100 per cent, but I am 100 per cent sold on just how important the chopper is for our community,” he says.
“But, as good as the service is, hopefully I will never need to use it again.”
Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopters undertook 142 missions to Rodney in 2020. It was the busiest year on record with 1187 missions across the region.