Police have rescued an elderly, blind man who became lost while walking his dog in Dome Valley, between Warkworth and Wellsford, in Auckland.

On Sunday night, police were alerted that the man had been stuck in the bush for more than eight hours.

Constable Tristan Kewene said he had just started his shift when they received the call for help.

Police were able to quickly pinpoint the man's location with great accuracy thanks to GPS on his cellphone.


"It was about a two hour's walk from the nearest road," Kewene said.

While the Police Eagle helicopter spotted the man with ease, the wind conditions and rough terrain made it difficult for the helicopter to land to rescue him.

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Meanwhile, local police staff and his family were searching nearby tracks to try reach the man.

Several attempts were made by the Eagle helicopter crew to land and fuel was fast running out.

One last attempt was made and the Eagle was able to get close enough for Kewene to get out.

"Luckily the wind had settled enough that we could get in behind the trees and get in close," he said.

"We weren't able to land because it was on a ridge line so we brought the helicopter to about a metre off the ground."


Staff were trained to undertake a hover-exit using the helicopter's skids to reach the ground, he said.

Kewene quickly briefed the man on what was going to happen next and guided him to the helicopter.

After the man was safely in the helicopter, Kewene lifted the man's dog onboard.

"And away we went. We found a vineyard nearby that we could land in."

There they were met by other police units and the man's family.

"They were stoked."


Kewene said he couldn't "stress enough" the importance of taking a charged phone when out walking in the bush and of letting someone else know where you are headed.

In more remote locations a personal locator beacon was a good idea, he said.

In some cases getting the GPS location "could make the difference".

Good news from our Eagle Police Helicopter team, who came to the rescue of an elderly, blind man who became lost while...

Posted by Auckland City District Police on Monday, 6 January 2020