Two trampers have been rescued in the North Island after using emergency beacons to call for help today.

In the first incident this morning, a 32-year-old German tramper was picked up by rescue helicopter after injuring his ankle while tramping inland from East Cape, according to a statement released by Maritime New Zealand.

The German man activated a spot tracking beacon, with the signal picked up by a coordination centre in the United States, and the position passed on to the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ.

The beacon was activated at around 11am this morning and the rescue helicopter picked the man up about 30km north west of Ruatoria just before 2pm.


He was taken to Whakatane hospital.

RCCNZ search and rescue mission controller Tracy Brickles said the man had suffered a what appeared to be an ankle sprain and was unable to continue.

"He was off the beaten track but very well equipped," she said. "The whole operation went smoothly and was completed within about three hours."

This afternoon a 63-year-old Wellington man was rescued by the Wellington Westpac Rescue Helicopter after suffering a cut to his head on a tramp from Kaitoke to Cone Hut in the Tararua [Ranges].

"He had borrowed a registered personal locator beacon for the tramp and details of the trip were obtained from his emergency contact."

After activating the beacon at 3pm, the man was at Wellington Hospital within an hour, the statement said.

It is a legal requirement to register beacons - this can be done for free at