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Missing trampers Dion Reynolds and Jessica O'Connor found alive, police confirm

Missing trampers Dion Reynolds and Jessica O'Connor have been found alive with minor injuries after 18 days lost in the bush.

Search and rescue teams have been looking for Reynolds and O'Connor, both 23, in Kahurangi National Park for the past week.

They failed to return from a tramp after setting out on 9 May.

But police confirmed in a tweet this afternoon that the pair had been found alive:

Missing trampers Dion Reynolds and Jessica O'Connor have been found alive … more to come.

— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) May 27, 2020 

A St John spokesperson said staff met a helicopter at Nelson Airport and assessed the patients, before taking them to Nelson Hospital with minor injuries.

Celebrations have started in Takaka after locals received the news.

Mr Reynolds' employer, Holly Osmond from the Roots Bar in Takaka, said she never gave up hope they would pull through.

"We are buzzing, we are actually full buzzing in here. It was just two of us on when a message came through and we promptly had a shot of rum to celebrate, so we are just so wrapped, goosebumps and all."

Osmond said many of the rescue team were from Takaka and everybody had been hoping for the best.

The search efforts had been hampered by bad weather since Sunday.

Five specialist tracking experts and three search dog teams were among six crews searching the upper Webb Stream area and Wakamarama Range.

Two helicopters were used in the search from the air, including a Defence Force helicopter which can winch search teams into rugged terrain.

- more to come

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