Tourist missing

22:36, Mar 02 2014
christian prehn
MISSING: German tramper Christian Prehn.

Search teams looking for a missing German tourist in the Nelson Lakes National Park are pulling out today due to bad weather.

Three search teams spent yesterday scouring the Travers Saddle area for signs of Christian Ulf Erik Prehn, 19, who might have been missing for up to a week.

A police spokeswoman said this morning only one search team remained in the area but would pull out today as the wind chill temperature had dropped to -10 degrees Celsius and 8cm of snow was forecast for later in the day.


Searchers were hopeful of getting back into the area on Wednesday or Thursday when the weather is forecast to clear again, the spokeswoman said.

Police had ''grave concerns'' for the man's welfare, who was last seen on Tuesday, she said.

On Friday, Department of Conservation staff alerted police a tramper's pack had been left beside the track on the Travers Saddle.


The pack, which contained food for up to five days, a medical kit, and wet weather gear, was found on Saturday.

Inquires with other trampers in the area suggest it might have been there for up to a week.

Police confirmed yesterday the abandoned pack belonged to Mr Prehn.

No one had information on where the missing man had been staying or what his plans were, the spokeswoman said.

Police had been in contact with his parents in Germany, who said their son might have been wwoofing, a voluntary working scheme on organic farms in return for lodging and food.

Senior constable Dave Colville, of Nelson Bays Search and Rescue, said police would like to speak with a German woman called Angela Bähr who is believed to have spoken with the missing man at a hut.Police had talked to a tramper who shared a hut with Mr Prehn but he did not know Mr Prehn's plans.

Police would like to hear from anyone who has been in contact with Mr Prehn or anyone tramping in the Travers Saddle area in the past week.

Mr Prehn arrived in New Zealand in October last year on a one year tourist visa.

Anyone with information that may assist this search should call Nelson police on (03) 546 3840.

Weather permitting, the search will continue tomorrow. 

The Marlborough Express