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PM In Search & Rescue in Canterbury Back Country

Prime Minister In Search & Rescue in Canterbury Back Country

Search and Rescue staff are currently making their way into the Two Thumbs range in the back country of South Canterbury where the Prime Minister is holidaying.

An emergency call was received late this afternoon after her guide and friend Gotttlieb Otto Braun-Elwert (aged 59) suffered what is believed to be a heart attack, and subsequently died.

Due to atrocious weather conditions a helicopter which was dispatched from Christchurch has been unable to reach the location.

Members of the party carried out C P R for a considerable period of time until advised by Ambulance staff that they should desist.

Search and Rescue volunteers along with a police Search and Rescue Squad member are believed to have reached the hut and will begin evacuating the party members shortly.

No further media comment will be available until 7am tomorrow morning.


Area Commander Mid South Canterbury



Late last night the search and rescue team who went to assist members of the Prime Ministers skiing party following the death of their guide. The party were staying in a hut in the Two Thumbs Range in the back county of South Canterbury.

An emergency call was received late yesterday afternoon after the Prime Ministers guide and friend Gotttlieb Otto Braun-Elwert aged 59 suffered what is believed to be a heart attack, and subsequently died.

Rescuers reached the hut last night on a snow mobile and while some remained at the hut overnight party members including the Prime Minister were brought out to Lake Tekapo Township.

An assessment of the weather is carried out at first light plans will be formulated to bring out the party members who remained at the hut overnight and also the body of Mr Braun-Elwert.

A further press release will be made at 0900hrs

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