Reminder to plan with care following search and rescue operation in Franz Josef

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 - 8:19pm
As conditions get colder over the winter months and daylight hours reduce trampers are reminded to plan their trips with care, seek local knowledge and plan their route prior to embarking.

Yesterday at around 3pm Police received a call from three tourists lost in dense bush in the vicinity of Roberts Point track near Franz Josef Glacier.

The group had left the track to try and find a water fall and climbed up to about 490 metres above sea level and became disorientated and bluffed - unable to descend due to cliffs.

A small team of volunteers from South Westland Land SAR and Franz Josef Glacier Guides undertook a search of the area for them.

Although communication was established by whistle reasonably quickly, the dense bush and the distance the group had travelled from the track meant it took a couple of hours for the search team to reach the group.

After darkness fell the search team were assisted by a second team who were able to sight a torch belonging to the lost party from across the valley and assist with directions.

The group were lightly but adequately equipped for a day tramp and in good spirits when located and were able to walk out in darkness with the assistance of the search team.

Fortunately for the group the weather was good throughout the search which was completed by about 6pm.

Police would like to thank South Westland Land SAR and Franz Josef Glacier Guides for their assistance in recovering the lost party.


Issued by Police Media Centre

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