Update on Mt Taranaki tragedy
"Update on Mt Taranaki tragedy"
Police have now released the names of two climbers who sadly perished in extreme conditions on Mt Taranaki.
The names of the two climbers were:
Nicole SUTTON aged 29 year old female from Auckland
Hiroki OGAWA a 31 year old male from Japan
Search teams spent last night on the mountain at altitude trying to locate the two missing climbers. Their efforts were significantly hampered by the conditions and they were forced to return to the forward staging area at Tahurangi Lodge at 0400 hrs.
A fresh search team was deployed at approximately 0330 hrs and reached the two climbers at 0730 hrs. Unfortunately, the male climber had passed away during the night. All efforts were then focused on getting the surviving climber off the mountain and providing further medical assistance. The weather continued to hamper rescue efforts. Nicole was conscious and speaking with rescuers initially, but then slipped into a state where she showed no signs of life.
The rescue team stayed with Nicole for several hours while recovery attempts were being made. The weather conditions have been extreme. Due to the conditions the rescue teams descended back down the mountain to the staging area to ensure no further loss of life.
Area Commander, Inspector Blair Telford says "We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims. Our focus is now on recovery and this will be done when there is an improvement in the weather. We still have a number of resources on standby including alpine cliff rescue and the Air Force, who are waiting for a break in the weather."