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Lucky Lost Hunter Located In The Hokonui Hills

A Southland hunter was found after spending multiple hours lost in the cold in the Hokonui Hills last week.

Gore Police and Eastern Southland Land Search and Rescue team were alerted to the lost hunter on 21 April, after he used his mobile phone to raise the alarm with his wife, who in turn notified Police at about 6.30pm.

Police were able to determine the man's location by getting him to make a 111 call from his mobile phone.

Ten Eastern Southland LandSAR volunteers assisted and Amateur Radio Emergency Communications volunteers also responded to the call-out.

Three search teams walked through the area near Dolamore Park.

The hunter was located at about 10.30pm, four hours after staff were first notified.

He was feeling the cold, but otherwise in good health.

He was fortunate, as he had very little food and insufficient gear to spend the night in the bush.

Police would encourage hunters to always be prepared and take sufficient clothing and equipment for an unplanned overnight stay.

Police would also advise all hunters and outdoor users to take a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) with them on all hunting and tramping trips.

A distress beacon lets you instantly signal for help and they work almost anywhere in the world.

The beacon shows rescuers your approximate location, taking the ‘search’ out of search and rescue.

The sooner rescuers can help you, the more likely you are to survive.

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand works 24/7, 365 days of the year responding to all distress beacon activations.

The team acts quickly to find out as many details as they can about who set off the distress beacon and promptly send search and rescue teams to assist.

For more information on how to stay safe when hunting visit: https://www.police.govt.nz/advice-services/firearms-and-safety/firearms-safety/hunter-safety

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