Flat battery sparks search

CHE BAKER IN ALEXANDRA
Last updated 05:00 08/02/2013

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Alexandra police launched a search on Wednesday night after fears were raised about the safety of a 19-year-old man hunting in the Pomahaka headwaters in Central Otago.

Central Otago sub-area commander Senior Sergeant Ian Kerrisk, of Alexandra, said the man's family contacted police at 11pm after he failed to return from a solo hunt.

"Given his experience, there were concerns he was injured and a search and rescue was launched."

A helicopter with night-vision capabilities was dispatched and volunteers on motorbikes and in four-wheel-drive vehicles spent the night searching for the man near Shingle Creek between Alexandra and Roxburgh.

However, at 9am yesterday, the hunter contacted his family saying he was safe and well.

He had been caught in fog while attempting to walk out of the headwaters and took shelter at Junction hut overnight, Mr Kerrisk said.

He was unable to let his family know his change of plans as his cellphone battery was flat. He borrowed a phone from hunters he ran into yesterday morning, he said.

"It was a good outcome," he said.

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- The Southland Times

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