A man found lying face-up and unresponsive in a stream in the Waitakere Ranges was saved by a well-prepared tramper, an intensive care flight paramedic says.

The tramper came across the man yesterday afternoon and activated his personal locator beacon to alert emergency services.

An Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew arrived and intensive care flight paramedic Rob Gemmell was winched to the ground.

He found the middle-aged man lying face-up in a cold stream under a walking bridge.


Initial indications were that he was hypotensive and with a very low temperature, was slipping into unconsciousness.

Mr Gemmell said the tramper saved the man's life by calling for help so quickly.

"Not only did he show amazing initiative, but he went into the bush extremely well equipped and should serve as a great example to others how important it is to be prepared," Mr Gemmell said.

The man was taken to Auckland Hospital in a critical condition.

Meanwhile, a hunter spent a night cold and wet on a ledge in Fiordland after becoming stuck while on a hunting trip yesterday evening.

The Taranaki man was hunting in a deer block close to Whitewater River, near George Sound, with three other men.

About 7pm he found himself unable to move up or down from the ledge and activated his personal locator beacon.

Southern Lakes Rescue Helicopter arrived an hour later but was unable to winch him free because of an 80m overhang above him.


The hunter bunked down for the night with a survival blanket and radio contact to keep him company.

He was rescued uninjured about 10.45am today by the Southern Lakes Rescue Helicopter crew and an alpine cliff rescue team from Queenstown.