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Another weekend... and another mountain rescue

Another weekend... and another mountain rescue

The Greenlea Rescue Helicopter was dispatched by the Taupo Police last night to assist with the search for some hikers missing on Mount Tongariro.
The group of four who were making their way to the Oturere Hut became separated in the poor visibility and subsequent darkness. Two of them made it to the hut and the other two lost their way.

Due to the weather conditions on some of the slopes of the mountain, the helicopter was not able to conduct a full search of the area. However we were able to position search teams as high as possible on the mountain, below the cloud base.

The rescuers armed with information gathered from intermittent text messages and broken phone calls covered ground at an astonishing pace.

The missing party was located about a km from the hut. One of the pair was rapidly succumbing to the cold and was unable to walk. This person needed to be carried to the hut by rescuers. where they had no choice but to stay the night.

There is no question that if they had not been found they would have perished in the conditions overnight.

At day break, and with much improved conditions, the Greenlea helicopter returned to the Oturere Hut to retrieve the very cold hikers and the LandSAR / RARO alpine rescue volunteers who saved their lives last night.

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