Personal locator beacons have proved their worth after eight
trampers have been rescued in four incidents over the last
Yesterday, three people were rescued from beside the Wanganui
River, near Harihari on the West Coast, after being stranded
by flood waters, the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) said.
They activated their beacons at 4pm and the RCC sent the
Westpac rescue helicopter from Christchurch to pick up the
Two of the party were suffering from frostbite and the third
from suspected hyperthermia and had managed to reach Hunter's
Hut near the Wanganui and Adams rivers. They were flown to
Hokitika hospital about 5.30pm.
A solo woman tramper with a ruptured Achilles tendon tramping
the Wangapeka Track on the Karamea River activated her beacon
just before 5pm and was picked up by the Nelson rescue
helicopter nearly two hours later and taken to Nelson
She was the fifth person rescued after activating a beacon on
the Wangapeka Track.
On Thursday a party of three and a solo tramper were also
rescued from the track after activating their own beacons.
"These incidents really show the value of personal locator
beacons," RCC search and rescue coordinator Chris Henshaw
"Without beacons, these people would have been waiting a long
time in uncomfortable conditions to be rescued."