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Man survives icy night alone on Mt Ruapehu after a fall

Man survives icy night alone on Mt Ruapehu after a fall

The Greenlea Rescue Helicopter was dispatched by the Taupo Police to Mt Ruapehu this morning to assist with the search for a missing man.

The man set out on a hike from the Tukino ski area yesterday just after lunch. At some point later in the afternoon he fell, sliding an unknown but considerable distance down the eastern slopes above Tukino coming to a stop in soft snow just short of a significant bluff. With a knee injury and now disoriented by the incoming cloud, and after his fall having no idea where he was, he was forced to try to shelter for the night.

Despite coming to terms that he was likely not going to survive the cold of the night, he decided to try and tough it out.

With deteriorating conditions forecast today, the Greenlea helicopter was called in to deploy LandSAR personnel and Tukino and Mt Ruapehu Ski patrollers into search segments. The helicopter then searched the outer perimeter of the area of interest, and in any gullies and under cliffs not accessible to the ground searchers

With skilled planning and years of experience the ground searchers were able to find some boot marks in the snow, despite the cloudy conditions, which eventually led them to the missing man who by this stage was extremely cold, but in remarkably good condition considering his 24 hour order.

Due to the availability of the locally based Greenlea Rescue helicopter and its involvement in this search and rescue operation, it was possible to quickly evacuate this man to hospital before the weather closed in, which it did as forecast immediately following the rescue.

Photos show the man being assisted to the helicopter / rescuers navigating the difficult conditions / Mt Ruapehu with the cloud starting to descend / another car crash last week on SH5 attended to by the greenlea helicopter.

Philips Search and Rescue Trust (PSRT) is a charitable organisation, operating rescue helicopters throughout the Central North Island. Philips Search and Rescue Trust relies on support from principal sponsors and community donations. Special thanks to Taupo’s principal sponsor, Greenlea. This crucial financial support ensures our rescue helicopters can continue to bring life-saving equipment, rescue personnel and trauma-trained medics directly to the patient. For further information about PSRT visit our website rescue.org.nz


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