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Man Found After Several Days In The Bush, Milford

Police Search and Rescue (SAR) are urging trampers and walkers to take necessary precautions following a rescue operation in the Dore Pass, Milford Track area yesterday.

A Belgian tourist had separated from his party while crossing Dore Pass on Wednesday.

The male deviated from his plan and efforts by his party to reunite with him on Saturday were unsuccessful.

Two teams of seven from Southland and Fiordland Land Search and Rescue Groups commenced a search for the man on Sunday morning alongside Southern Lakes Helicopters and a local boat charter company.

Fortunately, the man was located on Sunday at Clinton Hut.

He was taken to Te Anau Medical Centre to be treated for a minor knee injury.

“Dore Pass is a challenging route that requires route finding skills, river crossing and alpine experience,” says Sergeant Alun Griffiths.

“Attempting this type of activity in street shoes, limited suitable gear, and no means of emergency communication does not end well, and this man is extremely lucky the outcome was not worse.

“It is important to remember to note your intentions in hut books, advise people of your route and stick to that plan.

“These basic precautions are designed to keep you safe and are vital if the weather should deteriorate or you are injured,” says Sergeant Griffiths.

Nature can be unforgiving and the consequences of heading into the bush unprepared can be fatal.

It’s essential to be prepared before you set out on your walk, some good tips before you think about heading out for a hike in the Alpine environment include: 

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• Before you go for a tramp or walk in the great outdoors let family and/or friends know where you’re going, and when to expect you back. You can also use Mountain Safety Council’s free planning app Plan My Walk to leave your intentions. Alternatively, leave a date and time to raise the alarm if you haven't returned using the Outdoors Intentions form. 

• Have an emergency locator beacon, which can be purchased from outdoor stores or hired from your closest DOC centre. 

• Take weather forecasts seriously, getting it wrong in an alpine environment can be deadly. 

• Research the area and know what you're getting yourself into. 

• Have the correct clothing for the environment you're in.

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