British tramper's death second tragedy for family

BODY FOUND: Andrew Wyatt was heading to Arthurs Pass.
BODY FOUND: Andrew Wyatt was heading to Arthurs Pass.

The parents of British tramper Andrew Ian Wyatt, found dead at the bottom of a 100-metre cliff in the Nelson Lakes national park, have spoken of his active and outgoing nature.

Nelson police said today they were confident the body recovered by searchers yesterday below Lake Constance Bluff was that of Mr Wyatt, 41, who was intending to walk between Blue Lake Hut and Waiau Pass.

The last known sighting of him was on December 15, when he left Blue Lake Hut about 6am. He was expected to pick up a food package at Boyle Village in Lewis Pass on December 16.

Search co-ordinator Constable Dave Cogger said Mr Wyatt had an unsurvivable fall from the bluff. Police are now trying to arrange a formal identification of the body

Last night Mr Wyatt's father, Donald Wyatt, said from his Penryn home, in Cornwall, England, he and his wife Lorna had been notified by New Zealand police that "they had found him".

"We've lost him," he said.

Tragically the couple also lost another son, Duncan, on December 16 three years ago.

It is understood Andrew Wyatt and his brother were their only children.

Donald Wyatt said his son was "very outgoing" and active.

He had also recently completed his Master of Science and had a Bachelor of Science in Radiography, with Honours.

"It's just a bloody shame," he said.

He was too upset to talk further.

Andrew Wyatt arrived in New Zealand on November 21 for a second attempt at walking part of the Te Araroa Trail, which links tramping routes from Cape Reinga to Bluff. He had previously attempted to walk the trail last year.

Mr Cogger said police acknowledged the efforts of search and rescue volunteers from Nelson, Golden Bay and Marlborough who worked alongside officers during the operation to find Mr Wyatt.

Bad weather prevented searchers getting into the area before yesterday when four ground teams, a dog team and a communications team were flown into the area from Lake Station.

The Nelson Mail