Injured tramper rescue 'pure good luck'

The incident occurred in the vicinity of Liverpool Hut. Photo: Department of Conservation
The incident occurred in the vicinity of Liverpool Hut. Photo: Department of Conservation
Two solo trampers had lucky escapes after getting into trouble in Mt Aspiring National Park last night.

A man who fell and injured himself had headed out on his tramp without an emergency beacon and was not able to raise the alarm when he found himself in trouble.

The man was suffering a suspected broken leg and was considering crawling back to the track.

The tramper was only located because another tramper had also got into trouble and activated her beacon nearby.

The woman had become increasingly afraid she could not continue because bad weather was approaching.

She set off her beacon shortly after 7pm, then turned it off, meaning the rescue helicopter was unable to pinpoint her location when it reached the area.

After speaking to the woman, search and rescue crews said she had also turned off the beacon’s light, due to concerns she was not really needing help.

Meanwhile, the injured male tramper saw the helicopter in the area and shone his torch into the sky.

Luckily for him, the helicopter team located the light of his torch and landed nearby to investigate.

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand mission co-ordinator Geoff Lunt said both trampers had been very fortunate.

“We urge every group, or person on their own, going into the bush to have a registered beacon with them, and make sure their emergency contacts know about their intended route,” he said.

“By pure good luck, the one distress beacon between two people in different places saw both rescued.”

The helicopter landed back in Te Anau around 10.40pm, when the injured man was transferred to Lakes District Hospital.

Police search and rescue personnel made sure the woman was okay and had accommodation.

Lunt said trampers should know they did not have to be injured in order to be in trouble and needing help.

“It is better to act sooner and call for help, than it is to leave it too late, risking injury or even death, and possibly worse weather for the rescuers.”

Add a Comment