Three hunters whose vehicle got stuck in snow in the Lammerlaw Range yesterday have been airlifted to safety overnight.

The Dunedin men, in their late teens and early 20s, had been trying to leave the area - inland of Clarks Junction - when their vehicle became stuck in snow about 1pm.

A search and rescue operation was launched but teams were unable to reach the men because of poor weather conditions.

However, conditions improved overnight and a helicopter crew was able to reach the men about 2am, Senior Sergeant Dave Scott said this morning.


The men were suffering from mild hypothermia but were otherwise fine, he said.

The men had made cellphone contact yesterday with police, who advised them to stay in their vehicle.

Their vehicle had about half a tank of fuel left and the men were advised to leave its engine on, as they were beginning to feel hypothermic.

A search and rescue spokesman said the men were ill equipped for a night out in such cool conditions, as they had no extra clothing and no food supplies.