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Eastern Police rescue hiker from Kaweka Forest Park

Eastern Police rescue hiker from Kaweka Forest Park

Eastern Police have this evening rescued a 25-year-old man from Kaweka Forest Park after he became lost and too cold for the changing conditions.

Eastern District Deployment Coordinator Senior Sergeant Mike Stevenson says weather conditions were fine and clear on the hiker’s way in and he was mostly well-prepared for the day walk.

“However, after walking too far, he became disorientated and too cold to make his way back out this afternoon.

“By the time he turned around to walk back to his car, it was getting dark and the temperature had dropped significantly.

The hiker did not have appropriate clothing with him for the changing conditions or to keep himself warm past daylight.

“Luckily, there was cellular reception in the area where he was and he had sufficient battery to call 111 at about 6pm,” says Senior Sergeant Stevenson.

“He reported having walked through snow and felt extremely cold.”

Police deployed a Search and Rescue team and a helicopter was dispatched immediately.

The man was located very cold but otherwise well at approximately 8:30pm.

Senior Sergeant Stevenson says the rescue team do not believe he would have survived the night had he not been found.

“The hiker was very lucky this evening and we’re glad he’s made it home safely,” he says.

“It serves as a reminder that anyone walking in New Zealand’s parks must prepare for changing conditions and emergencies because those worst-case scenarios do happen.

“That means keeping someone back home well-informed of your plans and sticking to them, allowing yourself plenty of time to return safely before darkness.

“Anyone going on a hike should have an extra warm layer with them, sufficient food and water, and an appropriate means of communication.”

Further details on keeping safe outdoors, even on day walk, is available at the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council’s website: https://www.mountainsafety.org.nz


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