Young hunters found safe after cold night in the bush

By Kristin Edge

Three young pig hunters lost in a remote part of Northland bush did the right thing by staying put overnight.

Police have praised the actions of the three hunters, the youngest aged 11, for remaining in the same place after they became lost in bush at Mitimiti, 70km south of Kaitaia, on Thursday.

Northland police Search and Rescue incident controller Sergeant Neil Pennington said originally a group of five youngsters had gone into the bush hunting for pigs early on Thursday.

Somehow the group became separated and two of the hunters walked out about 6pm and raised the alarm.

An off-duty police officer and experienced member of the search and rescue squad, Spence Penney, was in Mitimiti on holiday. Coming from the area, he was familiar with the bush and along with the Kohukohu-based police officer helped coordinate search teams of local residents. Teams went into the bush about 6am yesterday.

Mr Pennington said members of the Whangarei-based search team were dispatched yesterday and as they arrived at the scene about 8am the lost hunters had been found.

"There is a waterfall in the bush and they were above that when they ran out of light," Mr Pennington said.

"They were cold and wet but they did the right thing by staying put."

One of the group was due to travel to Auckland with his family to fly back to Perth, Australia, early yesterday morning. However, the tickets needed to be rebooked due to his overnight adventure.

- Northern Advocate

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