Marathon rescue for injured climber

Last updated 10:13 28/12/2012

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The partner of an injured climber faced a marathon five-hour walking and kayaking expedition in the Milford Sounds to raise the alarm.

Yesterday's drama has prompted renewed calls for climbers to carry emergency locator beacons to ease rescue efforts.

At about 2.30pm today a 30-year-old Dunedin woman suffered a suspected broken ankle while climbing on the footstool area of Mitre Peak.

Her partner set off to raise the alarm. But first he had to walk back to the base of Mitre Peak and then paddle his kayak to Milford village where the Te Anau police were finally contacted at 7.15pm.

A winch-equipped Southern Lakes helicopter with a doctor and paramedic returned to the scene where they found the climber and winched her to safety.

She was airlifted to Kew hospital in Invercargill.

Sergeant Tod Hollebon of Te Anau Police Search and Rescue said an emergency locator beacon would have given the couple a much faster response.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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