Fundraising teen rescued from cliff

Photo / File
Photo / File

A teenager on a charity walk the length of New Zealand had to be winched to safety after he got stranded down a cliff at Muriwai, near Auckland.

Brandon Yelavich set off from Northland on the 5770km walk at the beginning of the month, but hit a snag when he dropped his GPS down a cliff at the popular beach yesterday (Thur). He abseiled down to retrieve it and got stuck.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was called in to rescue him about 4.15pm. The crew winched the 19-year-old to safety and dropped him back at the beach.

His father Todd Yelavich said it had "not been Brando's greatest day yet''.

"For those of you following Brando's GPS map tracker you will be wondering what the heck has been going on, especially the part where he tracks right over the sea,'' Mr Yelavich said on Facebook.

"Well he can't walk on water but he did get into a bit of strife after covering some good ground.''

Brandon had found himself heading downhill towards the beach he was trying to avoid and `"after around two hours he found himself in a location where he could not go forward and he could not go back'' and became trapped by the incoming tide.

Mr Yelavich said his heart had been in his mouth while he waited for his son to be rescued. But his son was rescued safely and returned "to the very spot he started from in the morning''.

Brandon is hoping to raise $10,000 for Ronald McDonald House during his solo walk down New Zealand's coastline.

On an online fundraising page, he said he would be "living off the land, the sea and the kindness of others'' as he raised money and awareness for the children and families who are cared for by the charity.

He has raised just over $1000 so far.

- APNZ

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