Group found safe and sound

A group of trampers who went missing in the Ruahine Range on Sunday have been found safe and well.

A Land Search and Rescue team located the group shortly before noon yesterday by the Piripiri Stream, Ngamoko Range.

The police search and rescue operation was conducted in the Ngamoko Range (in the Ruahine Ranges) after the group of trampers activated their emergency locator beacon on Sunday morning.

Police were notified of the beacon activation by the Rescue Co-ordination Centre and took over the search operation that evening for the group of five trampers, aged from 30 to 63, who are believed to be experienced members of the New Plymouth Tramping Club.

Search co-ordinator Sergeant Bill Nicholson said: "We deployed a team on Sunday evening but the high winds and rain made the search difficult.

"We re-deployed teams at first light [yesterday]."

Both the trampers and the search team were winched out as the terrain was too difficult for vehicles to enter.

Palmerston North Police and the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter were involved in the operation.

Police said initial observations suggested the trampers were all okay but were later seen by medical professionals.

Earlier Mr Nicholson said high winds and rain had made the search difficult.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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