Man survives waterfall plunge

20:19, Feb 24 2013
Stockyard Track rescue
PICKUP POINT: Te Anau doctor Stephen Hosking waits for a Southern Lakes helicopter’s longline to lift him and his patient from the Stockyard Track at Lake Manapouri at the weekend.

A 49-year-old Invercargill man survived a 15-metre fall down a waterfall at Lake Manapouri during the weekend.

Sergeant Tod Hollebon, of Te Anau, said the man fell the full height of the waterfall on Stockyard Track into shallow water at the base of the falls about 1.30pm on Saturday.

He was flown to Southland Hospital where he underwent surgery for a broken elbow, foot and a pelvic injury, Mr Hollebon said.

"He was extremely fortunate to have survived. It was fortunate, given the height, he did not suffer more severe or fatal injuries, quite incredible really," he said.

A helicopter and winch-equipped Southern Lakes search party was sent from Te Anau and located the man, his wife and a friend who had boated across the otherwise inaccessible track.

The helicopter had to return with a longline to extract the man from the remote area, Mr Hollebon said.


Few details were obtained from the man's wife and friend before cell phone coverage was lost, he said.

Meanwhile, a 68-year-old tramper died after he suffered cardiac arrest on Saturday.

The man, a Korean on holiday in New Zealand, collapsed in Mackinnon Pass on the Milford Track about 11.30am, Mr Hollebon said.

The track guide carried out CPR for some time.

A helicopter was sent from Te Anau but the man was pronounced dead upon arrival, Mr Hollebon said.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances to the death and the matter had been referred to the coroner.

The Southland Times