Search for missing tourist scaled back

His backpack, full of gear and personal items, was found last Saturday beside a track in the Nelson Lakes National Park. Photo / Thinkstock
His backpack, full of gear and personal items, was found last Saturday beside a track in the Nelson Lakes National Park. Photo / Thinkstock

The search for missing German tourist Christian Prehn has been scaled back after two more days of fruitless searching.

His backpack, full of gear and personal items, was found last Saturday beside a track in the Nelson Lakes National Park, but police believe it may have been there since February 25.

Teams of experienced searchers and a helicopter crew spent the last two days scouring the area Mr Prehn was believed to have been in, near Travers Saddle. Searchers were working in the same area earlier in the week but snow and freezing conditions forced them out.

Search teams were completing their final tasks and all were expected out of the area this evening, police said.

Search coordinator Senior Constable Dave Colville said the operation would now go into a limited continuous search phase, meaning further ground searches would activate only when new information came to light.

He thanked the large team of search and rescue volunteers who had given their time in recent days.

Mr Prehn arrived in New Zealand in October on a one-year tourist visa.

- APNZ

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