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Incident type: Search & Rescues

New Zealand Police Alert 3:00pm 20 Apr 2008 Tasman

Location of incident: West Coast

Incident type: Search & Rescues

On the 20th April 2008 West Coast police were notified of two Search & Rescue incidents within minutes of each other. The first was a 65yr old male who went missing at Kakawau Hill near Marsden, Greymouth. The man had set off in the morning with his camera and had sent a text message to a friend at 3.00pm stating he was on the tops and heading back down. He was caught out by fading light and was unable to find his way back through the bush.

Local Search & Rescue teams were called in to assist including a SAR dog and team from Reefton. They made voice contact with the man and directed him back to the car park. Three minutes later police were advised of three teenagers overdue from a trip up Mt Barron near Otira. The trio had started out originally in a party of six at approximately 2.00pm and headed up a creek that led out onto the open tops. Three of the group headed back down early leaving the trio to continue on up. They were poorly equipped with no torch or suitable clothing.

They too were caught out by fading light which slowed their progress down the steep track. Hokitika Search & Rescue were called in and another SAR qualified dog was dispatched to the scene. The Solid Energy Rescue Helicopter was also on standby with its night vision equipment to conduct a search of the open tops, when the trio walked out to safety. The trio aged 12yrs, 13yrs and 19yrs were cold and tired but otherwise okay. Released By: Constable Sean Judd O/C West Coast SAR - 027 273 1558 Date/Time: 21.04.08 - 1200hrs

ENDS

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