Several rescues in South over Easter

Activated distress beacons led rescuers to several people who got into strife around the South over Easter.

Maritime NZ’s Rescue Coordination Centre NZ (RCCNZ) said a dozen rescue missions were launched across the country over the long weekend in response to distress beacon activations - three in the southern area.

The first of these was the airlift of a Year 13 high school pupil who suffered a medical event during a school tramp in the Hopkins Valley, near Twizel, on Friday night.

On Sunday morning a pair of hunters activated their beacon at Cotter’s Hut in the Hawea Conservation Park, after one of them, a man in his 20s, broke his leg. He was airlifted to Wanaka Airport and transferred to Dunedin Hospital.

Later that day a mother and daughter tramping the Kepler Track activated their beacon after suffering hypothermia.

The Southern Lakes Helicopter took the pair to Te Anau for medical treatment.

Rescues further north involved hunters, kayakers and trampers who were taking advantage of the fine Easter weather. 

RCCNZ Manager Paul Craven said the rescues were successful due to people being properly prepared.

“These rescues really show the benefit of being prepared and having a plan in case things do go wrong.

"Having the right emergency equipment, including a distress beacon, means help can find you faster. Having a registered beacon really takes the search out of search and rescue."


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