A misunderstanding nearly led to a full-scale search and
rescue operation being launched yesterday after two
61-year-old Hamilton men were reported overdue from a
tramping trip on the Motatapu Track.
Wanaka police search and rescue co-ordinator Sergeant Aaron
Nicholson said the alarm was raised on Tuesday evening by the
wife of one of the men, who had expected to meet the pair at
the Arrowtown end of the track that day.
After eight hours waiting at the designated collection point
with no sign of the men, the woman had contacted police in
Wanaka, where she was staying. Sgt Nicholson said based on
inquiries about the men's capabilities and how well-equipped
they were, there were no immediate concerns about their
safety. However, with no sign of them by midday yesterday, a
low-key search was initiated. A helicopter flyover of the
track quickly located the pair who were safe and well and
approaching the end of their tramp.
It unfolded there had been some confusion between the parties
involved over which day the men were due out, Sgt Nicholson
''We think it was a significant misunderstanding in terms of