The National, Monday July 8th, 2013
THE Ok Tedi Mining Ltd’s (OTML) emergency rescue team carried out another successful rescue last Monday.
This time an adult male accidentally cut his right leg near his ankle with a bush knife while working in the garden with relatives.
OTML personnel working at the Ok Menga intake, where the company’s hydro power station was located, quickly alerted OTML security base 1 in Tabubil after a relative of the injured man had informed them.
The team responded quickly.
However, on arrival, their rescue options were limited with the Ok Menga River heavily flooded.
A quick call to executive manager, asset protection department Trevor Green resulted in an OTML-hired helicopter returning from Olsobip, north-east of Tabubil.
Acting team coordinator Gilbert Hapea said the helicopter landed on the intake side of the Ok Menga River where the rescue team had assembled and picked up team member Dickson Kiteng for the short flight across the river to rescue the man.
Hapea said the relatives of the injured man had carried him from the site where he cut his ankle to the river bank.
He said there was no landing surface for the helicopter but praised Hevilift pilot Dylan Dickerman for his aviation skills.
Hapea said the helicopter hovered about half-a-metre from the ground on the riverbank while Kiteng and the helicopter’s loadmaster Dominic Tine used the helicopter’s landing skid for support to help the injured man who managed to hop on into the aircraft.
When the injured man was taken to the Ok Menga intake area, two medical officers conducted emergency first aid before rushing him to Tabubil Hospital in an
Hapea said the exceptional flying skill of the pilot was a big factor in the successful rescue of the Migalsim villager.
“The pilot was very professional,” Hapea said.
The OTML team had previously rescued a stranded woman with her two-year-old son in the middle of the Ok Menga River, almost exactly where the latest rescue had taken place.