Runner lost in the Kaimais found before nightfall

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Police were called to help track down a woman lost in the Kaimai Range. Photo/file
Police were called to help track down a woman lost in the Kaimai Range. Photo/file

Police are praising the efforts of a Tauranga runner who survived becoming lost in the Kaimai Range.

The 42-year-old woman had become lost after going for a run. She had travelled with her husband and two children to the Leyland O'Brien Tramway Track at the end of Whakamarama Road yesterday.

They all set off at 11am and the woman intended running the track to the North/South junction and back again where she would meet up with the rest of the family who were walking the same track.

After she failed to return and a search by the husband did not locate her, he called police about 3pm.

The Tauranga Land Search & Rescue volunteers and the TrustPower TECT Rescue Helicopter, were deployed and the female was located by a ground team just before 6pm.

Sergeant Craig Madden of the Tauranga police search & rescue said "After crossing a stream the runner had mistaken an old tramway track for the main track."

Once she realised she had taken a wrong turn she tried to reorient herself without success.

She made the right decision and stayed put, built herself a bivy for shelter believing she may have to spend the night in the bush.

Mr Madden said "Friends of the family had entered the bush to look for the female before the search teams had arrived and although they had the best intentions and we had a great result, this can contaminate clues for the tracking teams."

"We can use the help of friends and family at times but we need to do this in a controlled manner. This ensures the safety of everyone involved."

The runner was found in good health in a reasonable time because she had left her trip intentions with her husband who raised the alarm. She was also carrying a small amount of food and extra clothing.

Mr Madden also stated that running the bush tracks was becoming a very common practice and suggested runners take with them a map and compass as a means of assisting them should they before disorientated if they are not familiar with the area.

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