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Tramper rescued after beacon activated

Tramper rescued after beacon activated

A 20-year-old Dutch solo tramper has been rescued from Mt Richmond Forest Park, in the Nelson Region, after becoming lost and activating a hired personal locator beacon.

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) received the alert at around 4.40pm yesterday (Thursday) and the Summit Rescue Helicopter from Nelson was sent to the scene.

However, low cloud made it impossible to reach the precise location and the helicopter subsequently landed a two-person Police/LandSAR search and rescue team on Mt Rintoul.

Despite fading light, they located the tramper who had become disorientated in the poor weather.

The group spent the night in a tent and were retrieved by helicopter at around 9,30am today, after weather conditions improved.

RCCNZ Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Dave Wilson said the incident highlighted the value of personal locator beacons – but also reinforced the importance of registering beacons.

The tramper had hired the beacon but it had not been registered.

“Without a beacon, it could have been a long time before he was missed – and by then the outcome could have been very different,” he said.

“Had the beacon been registered, we would have had details of emergency contacts and these could have been checked to find out how many people were in the party and what their intentions were. This could have aided with the search.”


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