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Helicopter being brought ashore

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/05/2017

The helicopter that crashed into Pauatahanui Inlet, an arm of Porirua Harbour, on Tuesday, is being brought to shore on airbags.

It is being towed by boat to shore on Thursday afternoon and a crane and truck is on standby to transport it out of the water and away.

On Tuesday, helicopter pilot Rick Lucas thought "this was it" when he was forced to bring his chopper down into the water.

The pilot had to crash-land the helicopter into Pauatahanui Inlet after its rotor was struck and damaged by a cable it was carrying at about 11.30am on Tuesday.

He was ferrying telephone poles over the Inlet when the cable snapped.

"I felt an intense vibration that got worse and worse, and the machine started to rotate," he said after being pulled from the water by rescue teams.

"I carried out my normal emergency procedures and got away with it. I thought this was it, but didn't panic. I relied on my basics and training."

Mr Lucas said it was a significant and "frightening" impact and he became trapped by his seatbelt.

He had been left "a little bit sore" - with a cut to the mouth - but otherwise fine.

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