A distress beacon and the smart actions of a group of trampers saved an Australian visitor’s life overnight in the Tararua Range.
Senior Search and Rescue Officer, Mike Roberts, says a LandSAR search and rescue team got to the severely hypothermic man on Monday morning in bad weather and rugged terrain.
The rescue began at 6pm on Sunday night when the man, who was tramping with a friend, activated his distress beacon near Kime Hut.
RCCNZ dispatched a Wellington Life Flight helicopter but low cloud and difficult flying conditions in the mountains prevented it getting near the hut.
Meanwhile, the man had staggered to the hut where, by chance, there was already a group of five other trampers.
At about 11am on Monday and after a 7 hour track by the rescuers to get to the man he was helped to Field Hut where he was picked up by a Philips Search and Rescue Trust helicopter from Palmerston North.
The man was flown to Palmerston North for treatment and is understood to be recovering well.