Ill Hollyford tramper able to walk to helicopter - pilot

Southern Lakes rescue helicopter

Southern Lakes rescue helicopter

An ill man on the Hollyford Track was well enough to walk to the helicopter when picked up, the pilot involved in the rescue said.

A group of trampers activated a locator beacon after a member of their party became ill, then carried on tramping the Hollyford Track on Sunday morning, police say.

A Southern District Command Centre spokesman said the party of four had stayed the night at the McKerrow Island Hut beside Lake McKerrow when a 54-year-old man with them became physically unwell. The beacon was activated about 7am, he said.

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The party left the man with the locator beacon and carried on with the walk, the spokesman said.

Southern Lakes helicopter pilot Sam Gawith said the job was a straight forward beacon activation. 

The weather conditions were just an average day for the Hollyford Valley, he said.

The doctor on board the flight checked out the man and decided to take him to the medical centre and get him checked out, Gawith said.

"He had been quite ill the day before, but had improved."

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The man was able to walk to the helicopter, Gawith said.

Search and Rescue coordinator Ian Martin said the man was taken to the Fiordland Medical Practice in Te Anau where he was treated.

Martin was expecting to speak with the rest of the party to establish what had happened.

Leaving the man and the locator beacon was not something he would recommend, he said.

Earlier this month, a woman abandoned in the bush by her friends had to be saved by a police search and rescue team.

The trampers were in the Wairere Falls area near Matamata when they became separated.

The woman was left behind as she wasn't able to keep up and became lost. Her friends rang police about 9.45pm.

The lost tramper settled down in the bush and remained in the same spot, where she was found overnight by volunteers from the Hamilton Search and Rescue Group.  

Waikato Tramping Club president Stephen Prendergast said at the time that it was against "bush craft rules" to leave a fellow tramper behind.

* Comments on this story are now closed.

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