Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Missing tramper situation 'grim'

Kahurangi National Park. Photo / Thinkstock
Kahurangi National Park. Photo / Thinkstock

Search teams are pinning their hopes on one last area of the Kahurangi National Park where Alistair Levy has been missing for nearly a week.

Poor weather continues to hamper the search effort for the 54-year-old, but it is forecast to clear later today.

Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter pilot Jarrod Colbourne said police had one last area they wanted to search in the hope Mr Levy was there.

"Hopefully we'll get that done today, the weather is getting better,'' he said.

"We're going to have a pilot and three observers on board and we'll just be moving slowly over the target area with the observers looking for any indications of the missing person.''

Search co-ordinator Sergeant Mike Fitzsimons met with Mr Levy's family yesterday to keep them informed on the search.

They understood the situation was grim, he said.

Mr Levy left Nelson last Saturday morning. He sent a text message on Sunday morning to say he had tramped to 1875m up Mt Owen and had not been heard from since.

The Palmerston North man was due to pick up his bike from a cafe in Kohatu and cycle back to his car at the start of the track at Courthouse Flat, but never made it.

He has been described as an experienced tramper but had no emergency locator beacon on him.

- APNZ

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