Rescuers And Body Airlifted From Rimutaka
Rescuers And Body Airlifted From Rimutaka Forest Park
New Zealand Police
8 June 2008
A short break in the weather this morning enabled two rescue teams to be airlifted out of the Rimatuka Forest Park within the last few hours with the body believed to be that of missing tramper Jacek Gryzbowksi.
The body has been flown by Westpac Rescue helicopter to Wellington Hospital's mortuary where a full formal identification will be made.
Inspector Mike Wright said all search teams are now safely out of the field in what has been a very challenging and demanding operation, especially last night when the teams experienced high winds, heavy rain, snow and hail showers in the tops.
"We're delighted that we found Jacek," Inspector Wright says. "We would have preferred to find him alive but sadly that wasn't to be."
Jacek's family will be met by Police, the Polish Ambassador and members of the Polish community when they arrive in Wellington later today.
Inspector Wright paid tribute to the dozens of NZ Land SAR volunteers from the Wellington Region, Levin, Palmerston North and the Wairarapa who help police SAR teams throughout this operation.
He also expressed his thanks to the Air Force and Westpac and to community groups such as the Hutt Valley Emergency Management Office, the Rural Fire Service and the Salvation Army whose support at both the base headquarters and in the field was outstanding.