Bluffed man rescued

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 08:58 01/04/2014
RESCUE: Lloyd Matheson briefs members of the Queenstown Alpine Cliff Rescue team, Derek Chinn (L) and Chris Prudden.
BARRY HARCOURT

RESCUE: Lloyd Matheson briefs members of the Queenstown Alpine Cliff Rescue team, Derek Chinn (L) and Chris Prudden.

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A Taranaki man has been rescued off a ledge in a remote part of Fiordland.

The man in his 20s was forced to spend the night high above the ground near the Whitewater River in the George Sound area of Fiordland.

The signal from the man's personal locator beacon was detected by the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand at 6.55pm yesterday but after reaching the scene about 8pm, the Southern Lakes Rescue Helicopter was unable to winch the man free because of an 80m overhang above him.

The helicopter crew left Te Anau with members of the alpine cliff rescue team from Queenstown this morning and rescued the man about 10.45am.

RCCNZ Search and Rescue Coordinator John Ashby said the man was cold and wet, but unhurt and had been flown to the hunter's camp to continue the trip.

"This is an excellent result for the alpine cliff rescue team and the Southern Lakes Rescue Helicopter crew. The safest option was for the man to stay on the ledge overnight as he was unhurt, and had some emergency equipment with him, including a survival blanket," he said.

"Nevertheless, I’m sure he was very pleased to get off the ledge. This rescue once again shows the benefit of carrying a personal locator beacon. It could have been a very long wait without it."

The man was among a party of three, all from Taranaki, who hunting in a Wapiti deer block. He was in radio contact with his two colleagues and had survival equipment with him.

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