A reminder for trampers and walkers to be prepared
Sergeant Ian Martin, Search and Rescue Co-ordinator, Invercargill:
As people prepare to get away and into the outdoors ahead of Labour Weekend, Police are reminding people to be prepared and notify people of their plans.
A 54-year-old Wellington man was located safe and well in a hut on the Milford Track yesterday (Monday) evening, after not returning to his car parked on Milford Road for some days.
Police received a call from contractors on Sunday evening concerned that no one had returned to the car.
Inquiries established that the man had intended to walk over the Dore Pass route and onto the Milford Track.
He had left inadequate intentions of his plans, setting off on Monday 14 October and indicating to a friend he would see him “at the end of the week.”
A Search and Rescue operation was launched around 5:30pm on Monday, including a helicopter from Southern Lakes Helicopters and volunteer members of Fiordland LandSAR.
The man was located at Dumpling Hut near Milford Sound.
He had become lost after crossing Dore Pass, and spent three nights in a steep gully.
Unable to climb back up due to the terrain, he made his way downhill over the next three days.
Fortunately for him, the weather was favourable over this period.
He eventually got onto the Milford Track and recorded his name and intentions in the hut book at Clinton Hut, and the search team were able to quickly locate him at Dumpling Hut on the north side of Mackinnon Pass.
The Dore Pass is regarded as a challenging route, and not recommended for winter and spring due to the weather risk.
As more people take to our mountain and bush tracks this season, Police would like to remind people to be prepared.
Ensure you have suitable equipment and enough supplies for your walk; carry maps, a compass, a Personal Locator Beacon and a cellphone; and always leave detailed trip intentions with a reliable contact person.
There is a sample Outdoor Intentions Form at https://www.adventuresmart.nz/outdoor-intentions-form/ .