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Hunter rescued after night trapped on ledge

Hunter rescued after night trapped on ledge

A hunter has been rescued after spending the night on a ledge in Fiordland when he became bluffed – unable to move up or down - early yesterday evening.

The man is one of a party of three from Taranaki, all in their 20s, who were hunting in a wapiti deer block close to Whitewater River, near George Sound.

The signal from his personal locator beacon was detected by the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand at 6.55pm yesterday but after reaching the scene about 8pm, the Southern Lakes Rescue Helicopter was unable to winch the man free because of an 80m overhang above him.

The helicopter returned with the alpine cliff rescue team from Queenstown this morning and the man was rescued at around 10.45am.

RCCNZ Search and Rescue Coordinator, John Ashby said the man was cold and wet, but unharmed. He has been flown to the hunters’ camp and will continue the hunting trip.

“This is an excellent result for the alpine cliff rescue team and the Southern Lakes Rescue Helicopter crew. The safest option was for the man to stay on the ledge overnight as he was unhurt, and had some emergency equipment with him, including a survival blanket,” he said. “He was also in radio contact with his companions, so he had at least some company.

“Nevertheless, I’m sure he was very pleased to get off the ledge. This rescue once again shows the benefit of carrying a personal locator beacon. It could have been a very long wait without it.”


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