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Beacon helps fourth tramper this year

MEDIA RELEASE
Date: 14 February 2005

Beacon helps fourth tramper this year

The rescue of an injured tramper in Fiordland this morning is the fourth time this year that the importance of carrying a distress beacon in a remote location has been proven.

The 59-year-old man rescued this morning was unable to tramp out of Dusky Track after seriously injuring his shoulder during a fall yesterday. Fortunately, he was able to borrow another tramper’s distress beacon early this morning to alert rescuers.

At 7.40am, 35 minutes after he activated the beacon, a satellite detected the signal, and 10 minutes later Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand tasked a Southern Lakes Helicopter from Te Anau to search for the beacon location.

The helicopter crew with paramedic on board found the man at 9.35am and flew him to Te Anau, where he was transported to a medical centre.

RCCNZ Search and Rescue Officer Dave Wilson says this morning’s rescue is the fourth of it’s kind so far this year, and it shows the value of having a distress beacon in a remote location.

“We’re seeing an increasing number of people using personal locator beacons because they increase the likelihood of getting to medical care as quickly as possible, which can save your life.

“It’s important that trampers buy 406MHz frequency beacons rather than others on the market. The position information is more accurate, and from 2009 only these types of beacons will be detected by satellite, which in this particular case was the only means of notifying us that someone needed help,” he said.

ENDS

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