Missing Hunter Found
NZ Police CommCens Alert 19:00 12-04-2006 Bay of Plenty
Location of incident: te urewera national park
Incident Type: missing hunter found
the hunter who has been missing in the te urewera national park since saturday was this afternoon found safe and well by search and rescue volunteers. 48 yr old brent williamson was dropped into the area on friday 7 april with a colleague. brent was last seen on saturday morning by his hunting companion as they set off for a day hunt. he failed to turned back up at their camp site later that afternoon as planned, but it wasn't until Monday afternoon when the companion was picked up from a prearranged rendezvous point that he was able to raise the alarm. police together with search and rescue launched an extensive search for brent. this consisted of about 20 searchers yesterday and up to 40 today plus the coordination team and an airforce iriquois helicopter with 6 airforce personnel including a medic. at about 1:00pm this afternoon one of the search parties found brent in rugged terrain approximately 5 kilometres from where he was last seen. brent was airlifted out and arrived at the search and rescue coordination base at about 3:00pm, set up at the lions hut (foothills of the te urewera national park) where he was greeted by family and friends. though cold and fatigued, he was otherwise fit and well. shortly afterwards brent was airlifted to whakatane hospital for observations and a checkup. search efforts were enhanced by brents wise decision to stay put in an area he believed searchers would cover once he realise he was lost. he stayed there for four days and three nights until located through a coordinated and thorough search. police are extremely grateful to the search and rescue volunteers who worked in extremely tough conditions to ensure a successful outcome, bearing in mind this search was straight off the back of another successful search and rescue operation in the same area that ended earlier monday afternoon.
Release from Pat Tasker, Area Commander, Eastern Bay of Plenty.