Concerns for missing teenage tramper

The identity of a man missing in the Nelson Lakes National Park has been confirmed as German national Christian Ulf Erik Prehn, 19. 

Police became concerned for Mr Prehn's safety following reports of an abandoned trampers pack on the side of the Travers Saddle area in the last week.

They confirmed today the pack belonged to Mr Prehn, who arrived in New Zealand in October on a one year tourist visa.

Inquiries by police indicated the pack - which was full of gear and personal items - may have been there for up to a week before it was recovered.

Three search teams, including a search and rescue dog, were scouring the Travers Saddle area where the Mr Prehn's pack was located, police said.

A helicopter was also flying over the area.

His parents, who are in Germany, had also spoken with police in New Zealand.

Search coordinator senior constable Dave Colville said officers would be speaking to a tramper who shared a hut with Mr Prehn to try and establish what he was planning to do.

Weather conditions for the search today are fine, although heavy rain is expected tonight. Snow fell in the area on Friday, police said.

Anyone who has been in contact with Mr Prehn, or anyone who has been tramping in the Travers Saddle area in the last week should contact Nelson Police on (03) 546 3840.


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