Four trampers stranded in bush by swollen streams have been airlifted to safety near Nelson.
The group activated a locator beacon and the Rescue Co-ordination Centre Wellington (RCC) called in the Nelson Marlborough rescue helicopter to search for them in the Wairoa Gorge area south of Nelson at 5pm yesterday.
The trampers had been walking the Mt Richmond Forest Park Alpine Route, and were nearing the end when heavy rain caused the rivers to rise quickly.
Having watched the rivers continue to rise throughout the day and not knowing the forecast, the group elected to activate the locator beacon, rather than make any attempt to cross the rivers, said a rescue helicopter spokesman.
The helicopter crew found the trampers stranded on a dense bush spur by swollen river and tributary streams on both sides.
The helicopter winched its onboard intensive care paramedic down to the group and each member of the group was then winched 30 metres to the helicopter. They were given a medical check before being flown to the Hackett car park.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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