Australian tramper taken off track

02:42, Oct 31 2012

An Australian tramper was airlifted from the Motatapu Track near Wanaka yesterday afternoon after seriously injuring his leg and activating a hired personal locator beacon.

The man was part of a group of five trampers who set out on Monday to walk the track.

However, yesterday afternoon the beacon, which was hired from the Southland Locator Beacon Charitable Trust, was set off.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand advised Southern Lakes Helicopters of the situation and a rescue helicopter was sent to investigate the beacon activation.

On arrival at the scene they found the man seriously injured.

The man was initially treated at the scene before being winched on board the helicopter and airlifted to the Lakes District Hospital in Frankton.


RCCNZ search mission co-ordinator Tracy Brickles said the incident emphasised the importance of carrying a beacon.

''GPS location information from their PLB (personal locator beacon) meant we were able to pinpoint the location and dispatch the Southern Lakes Helicopter to the scene quickly.''

''Carrying a registered, GPS-capable PLB essentially removes ''search'' from ''search and rescue'', greatly enhancing the likelihood of a successful outcome,'' Ms Brickles said.

Further information about the man's condition was unavailable.

The Southland Times