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Surfer suffers spinal injury at Wainui

A surfer is in a stable condition in the spinal unit of Middlemore Hospital in Auckland after he was dumped by a wave at Wainui Beach yesterday afternoon.

The incident, in which a 32-year-old man suffered a neck injury, happened at around 1.30pm. He was helped from the water by a friend.

“His mate got him to shore and then called 111,” a St John ambulance officer said.

The Trust Tairawhiti rescue helicopter was called in and the machine landed on the beach near the man.

“A doctor and a nurse from the Emergency Department at Gisborne Hospital, who were at the beach, had begun to assess him and care for him by the time we landed,” said chopper manager Doug Buchanan.

“He was status three, or in a moderate condition, when we flew him directly up to Auckland.

“He was quite sore around the neck, but his vital signs were good, and he had some limited movement.” Mr Buchanan said.

The chopper had him at Middlemore in about one hour and 40 minutes. They flew the man's wife up with him.

The incident happened at the Pare Street end of the beach.

Earlier, Gisborne Boardriders Club asked the region's surfers not to go surfing during the Covid-19 Coronavirus lockdown period.

They have followed the lead of the Raglan Point Boardriders in making the plea on social media.

“We 100 percent support this kaupapa,” said club development manager Florian Bub. “The pressure on our healthcare system will most likely be severe and we need to try to do everything we can to reduce additional risks.

“Doctors, nurses and emergency providers could be stretched to their limits and we need to support them and our community as best as we can,” he said.

“It's not so much the surfing, but the mingling that takes place in the carpark before and after surfers go out.

“In the grand scheme of things we want to lead by example and there will be plenty of waves to be had when the storm has passed.

“Let's all stand together.”