Search for hunter continues

ANNA WILLIAMS AND FAIRFAX
Last updated 14:37 12/12/2012

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A search and rescue dog team is being winched by helicopter into the Nelson Lakes area today as the search continues for an 84-year-old hunter last seen on Monday.

Sergeant John Maxwell, of Nelson, said Feilding man David Roy Marston, known as Roy, had been hunting in a party of six on Monday and was based at the Sabine Hut in the Lake Rotoroa area.

The group planned to hunt until 5pm, then meet at a designated point, but Mr Marston failed to arrive.

He had been hunting in the Maori Creek area on the south side of the lake. Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter pilot Tim Douglas-Clifford said the helicopter was returning to the Maori Creek area today to winch a dog team on to the ground.

The crew will also put transmitters up in different parts of the hill so rescue services could get radio signal.

Mr Maxwell said the dog team also went in yesterday and searched a different area. A dog handler found two footprints that could belong to the missing man. The search followed that direction.

Four search teams were in the field yesterday and new teams were in the field today searching an area of bush 12 kilometres by 15km.

A boat had also searched the shoreline 3.5km either side of Maori Creek.

Police had spoken to Mr Marston's family, who said he was fit and healthy with no medical conditions. He was an experienced hunter and very sensible, Mr Maxwell said.

The family told him of one occasion when Mr Marston was out hunting and shot a deer that rolled down a bank. He was not comfortable going to retrieve it so he left it there.

''That shows good common sense, and a complete awareness of his own limitations,'' Mr Maxwell said.

There were ''hundreds and hundreds'' of possible scenarios that could have happened and the team would continue searching while they had something to search for, he said. 

''We're always searching in the hope of finding the person alive,'' he said.

''We hope we find him alive and well but each day that goes by is a concern.''

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- The Marlborough Express

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