Hunter rescued after two nights stranded in central North Island hinterland

A hunter was rescued from Kaweka Forest Park, pictured, over the weekend.  (File photo)

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A hunter was rescued from Kaweka Forest Park, pictured, over the weekend. (File photo)

Snuggled under a survival blanket for more than two days, a hunter was returned to safety after getting lost in the Kaweka Range over the weekend.

Hawke’s Bay Ground Search and Rescue Team were alerted to the lost hunter near Comets Hut on Saturday morning.

Senior Sergeant Andrew Knox of Search and Rescue Police said the hunter contacted a friend on Thursday to tell him he was in trouble and was going down a river to get his bearings.

“Unfortunately, the police did not have the last known point for the hunter, which made it difficult to establish a search area and a possible direction of travel.

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“Thanks to the information gathered during the interviews, we were able to considerably refine the search area. “

The man was found around 9 p.m. Saturday by one of the search teams.

Knox said the hunter had set up a small camp near a river and was found next to a fire huddled under a survival blanket where he had been for more than 48 hours.

“He was tired and bruised, but otherwise healthy and happy to have been found.”

The man was hoisted with the search team and transported out of the area.

“It was a great result and the hunter was very lucky considering the time he had spent in the bush with very few supplies.”

Knox said about 20 ground SAR personnel, the Lowe Walker rescue helicopter, a civilian search dog team from Taupō, local radio operators and a civilian helicopter operator and the Whanganui SAR police all attended. helped with the operation.

“The research would not have been possible and would not have had the success it has had without these partnerships.”

He said police encouraged hunters to always be prepared and pack enough clothing and equipment for an unscheduled overnight stay.

Knox also said hunters and outdoor users should take a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) with them on all their hunting and hiking trips.

“A distress beacon allows you to instantly report a request for help and it works almost anywhere in the world,” he said.

“The sooner rescuers can help you, the more likely you are to survive. “

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