Richie McCaw Cements His Hero Status In NZ With His Earthquake Rescue Efforts

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New Zealand’s earthquake relief effort is ongoing after a 7.8 magnitude quake hit the country, causing devastating damage and resulting in two deaths.

One man who has been assisting in those efforts is former All Blacks captain, turned helicopter pilot Richie McCaw. The former World Player of the Year is a legend in New Zealand, holding the record for most test caps by any player and leading his national side to back to back Rugby World Cup titles.

According to the New Zealand Herald, McCaw was one of the helicopter pilots who helped fly Urban Search and Rescue teams out to the house and other places in need of help after the disaster.

New Zealand's Captain Richie McCaw looks back at his teammates through the rain during the Autumn international rugby union Test match between England and New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium, southwest of London on November 8, 2014.  AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS

McCaw was suddenly awoken this morning following the incident, as were many in the are and has since been flying rescue and reconnaissance missions.

“Like everyone else, I got woken up at midnight… yeah a bit scary,” he told the Herald.

Up first for the legendary openside was a mission to help fly two USAR teams to Kaikoura where one person died in a collapsed house.

“From there, we took the Fire Service just north and south of Kaikoura to check out all the slips and make sure everyone was accounted for,” he said.

From the air, McCaw said he saw “big cracks in the road, cracks in the side of the hills, and obviously slips”.

“At one point, the railway was way out over the sea – it had been pushed out by slips. It would not have been a nice place to be at midnight last night.”

 “Just from a selfish point of view, it’s nice to be able to fly but you’d like to be able to do it in better circumstances.”

Fair play Richie and to all involved in relief efforts, following this devastating natural disaster.

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