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Tramper Still Missing Near Thames

Tramper Still Missing Near Thames

http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/2387.php

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A 26-year-old English tourist remains lost in bush near Thames today and police fear he may be heading into some of the roughest terrain on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Robert Atkin was reported missing by a friend after he failed to return from a tramp in the Kaueranga Valley near Thames on Wednesday afternoon. Mr Atkin was due back at 5.30pm and he was reported missing at 7.30pm.

Searches yesterday by around 50 search and rescue volunteers and police failed to find Mr Atkin, but police believe he may be heading deeper into the bush instead of remaining in one place.

Police yesterday called in the police Eagle helicopter to help in the search. The search resumed again this morning at first light and the
Eagle helicopter was also expected to return to the scene.

Around 50 searchers are again involved in the search today. Several teams stayed in the bush last night.

Mr Corbett said the search had been hampered by heavy showers and cloud and conditions yesterday curtailed full use of the helicopter.

Searchers believed they had tracked Mr Atkin's movements, but the trail had led into even deeper bush.

"We think he may be walking away from us and ahead of us, which is making things very difficult. The problem is that he is heading into some of the roughest terrain on the peninsula. It is a very dangerous area and we hope that he stays put and doesn't venture much further."

Mr Corbett said it was possible Mr Atkin may find his way out of the bush and appear on any of the roads on the peninsula that lead from the Kaueranga Valley.

"We would ask that any locals in the area keep an eye out for him. He may just appear out of the blue and probably won't know where he is."

Mr Atkin is described as a male caucasian, about 6ft 4, of medium build with short brown hair. He was wearing a blue shirt and blue trousers.
He may be wearing a leather cowboy hat and may be carrying a small backpack.

Mr Corbett said Mr Atkin was an experienced hiker, but not in New Zealand terrain. He has been in New Zealand on holiday with friends for around two or three weeks.

Police were hoping that Mr Atkin would make his way out of the bush or that searchers would find him.

"But the longer he remains missing, the more fears we would hold for his safety," Mr Corbett said.

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