Solo tramper rescued by helicopter

By Hana Garrett-Walker, Cassandra Mason

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A solo Dutch tramper who became lost and disoriented in poor weather in Marlborough yesterday afternoon has been rescued by helicopter.

About 4.40pm yesterday an unregistered personal locator beacon was activated in the Mt Richmond Forest Park area, a statement from Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter said.

The 20-year-old Dutch tramper was located after 8pm last night but low cloud prevented a helicopter from reaching him.

A police land search and rescue ground team was dropped into the area.

Despite fading light, the team found the man, who had become disoriented in the bad weather.

The team camped with him on the mountain overnight.

The group was picked up around 9.30am today once weather conditions had improved.

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) co-ordinator Dave Wilson said the incident highlighted the importance of personal local beacons - and getting them registered.

The tramper had hired the beacon but not had it registered.

"Without a beacon, it could have been a long time before he was missed - and by then the outcome could have been very different," he said.

"Had the beacon been registered, we would have had details of emergency contacts and these could have been checked to find out how many people were in the party and what their intentions were. This could have aided with the search."

- APNZ

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