Call to use beacons

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 09:52 28/12/2012

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Police Search and Rescue have called for trampers to carry communication devices after a climber had to wait for nearly five hours to be rescued from Mitre Peak in Milford Sound yesterday.

Sergeant Tod Hollebon, of Te Anau, said a 30-year -old Dunedin woman suffered a leg injury while climbing on the footstool area of Mitre Peak at about 2.30pm but search and rescue were not contacted until 7.15pm.

The outcome on this occasion was favourable but carrying a means of communication such as an Emergency Locator Beacon would have given the couple a much faster response to the emergency situation they faced, he said.

The partner of the injured woman made his way back down to the base of Mitre Peak and paddled his kayak to Milford village to raise the alarm, Mr Hollebon said.

Te Anau Police were contacted and co-ordinated a rescue.

A winch equipped Southern Lakes helicopter with a doctor and paramedic on board flew to the site where the climber was located and winched from the site, Mr Hollebon said.

The female climber was airlifted to the Southland Hospital, in Invercargill, with a suspected broken ankle.

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