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Wednesday, April 1, 1998 Published at 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK



World: Asia-Pacific

'Miracle' rescue of fisherman
image: [ The fisherman is hoisted aboard the helicopter after a narrow escape ]
The fisherman is hoisted aboard the helicopter after a narrow escape

An epic rescue carried out on the high seas off the coast of New Zealand plucked a stranded fisherman to safety as rough weather wreaked havoc across the country.


Watch the rescue in Real Video

Stormy conditions off Port Waikato made manoevering difficult for the rescue helicopter team sent to save him.

They got within metres of the fisherman when a huge wave washed him off the rocks.


[ image: Minutes after the helicopter team arrives, the man is swept off the rock by a huge wave]
Minutes after the helicopter team arrives, the man is swept off the rock by a huge wave
After minutes of battling against strong currents, the team managed to pull him from the water and winch him to safety.

The heavy weather is the result of cyclone Yali which hit New Zealand three days ago.

Trees have been ripped up by their roots, trucks blown across roads and buildings without roofs as a result of 80 mph (130 kph) high winds.

Conditions have also hit diplomatic activity with air traffic into the capital of Wellington being interrupted, forcing a private jet carrying Argentina's President Carlos Menem to divert to Auckland.
 





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