Hypothermic pair rescued

The Gillespie Pass Circuit. Photo: DOC
The Gillespie Pass Circuit. Photo: DOC
Two trampers were suffering from hypothermia when they were rescued in challenging conditions at Mt Aspiring National Park at the weekend.

Police said an emergency locator beacon was activated at 1.30pm on Saturday, at the top of the Gillespie Pass.

The beacon had been hired by a 63-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman, both of Katikati.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre sent Aspiring Helicopters and two teams from Wanaka Search and Rescue to the location, but extreme winds meant the first team had to be dropped about 9km away.

Rescuers located the trampers after covering challenging terrain on foot.

Constable Deane Harbison, of Wanaka, said the pair were were suffering from hypothermia.

The rescue team helped the trampers to reach Young Hut about 10pm; they were flown out about 7am the next day.

Const Harbison commended the pair ‘‘for hiring a locator beacon and checking the weather forecast’’ but said the incident exemplified how quickly conditions could change.

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