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A critical rescue

Colin Tandy barely clung to life after his truck rolled 80 metres down a Marlborough cliff.
Colin Tandy

I owe you guys my life and wish to thank everyone who was involved in my rescue and recovery. You guys rock! I love you all, thank you.

Colin Tandy

I experienced sunstrike like never before, it was complete whiteout. I braked but felt my logging truck get sucked sideways down a huge steep bank. Adrenaline shot through me as the truck rolled again and again, bashing me against the roof and seat.

When the truck stopped rolling I immediately dragged myself out through a window. The pain was very intense but my determination to survive was overwhelming. Blood was running down my face and I noticed huge cuts on my arms and feet. I couldn't move my legs and couldn't get a grip on the bank. It was very, very scary.

Pain was coming over me in huge waves. I remember staring into the blue sky, thinking of my children and praying. My thoughts were racing away; my life was passing away.

Colin Tandy rescue
Photo credit Scott Hammond, The Marlborough Express

My heart jumped when I heard the distinctive sound of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter rotor blades. I listened to the wonderful people around me organising my air-lift and knew I was being saved. The feeling of comfort from the noise of the helicopter was amazing! It will stay with me for the rest of my life.

As I was winched up by the Life Flight team I felt the chopper's downdraught on my face. I could see the belly of the chopper; it was an incredible sight that gave me so much reassurance. I knew I was in the best hands.

I had eight broken ribs, broken hips, a split pelvis, a ripped back vertebra, and heaps of cuts in my head and arms.

This accident will affect me for as long as I live, but I have made it my mission to get well as soon as possible. I start working again in a week and I can't wait to get back on the road.

Thank you, Colin Tandy