Missing Chch tramper named

02:45, Nov 07 2012
Missing tramper
West Coast police search and rescue co-ordinator Sergeant Sean Judd, right, discusses today's search efforts with Kim Thomas, a member of the land search and rescue incident management team.
Missing tramper
Rescuers resume their search for missing tramper Rex Taylor.
Missing tramper
The Explorer Hut pictured in 2005.

Police have named the man missing on the West Coast as Rex Leslie Taylor, 50, of Christchurch.

Taylor was reported missing by his family yesterday, nearly two weeks after his expected return from a tramping expedition in the Mikonui River area, south of Ross. 

An extensive search, which involved two dog teams and a team on foot, yesterday failed to find him.

Explorer Hut
SEARCH RESUMES: Rescuers are focusing on the Mikonui River, south of Ross, south of Hokitika, and the Explorer Hut in their search for a missing Christchurch tramper.

His final entry in a West Coast hut book has given rescuers vital information on his movements.

West Coast search and rescue co-ordinator Sean Judd said the search resumed today.

Land Search and Rescue dog teams and two ground teams are searching the area, and a specialist whitewater search team will also join the hunt.

Judd said the weather in the area was favourable and rescuers would focus on the Mikonui River and the Explorer Hut.

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Rex Taylor
REX TAYLOR: It is believed he was doing volunteer track and hut maintenance when he fell over a bluff.

"It's where we found, at this stage with the information we have, his last hut entry," he said.

The entry, on October 23, said Taylor planned to head back towards his vehicle in Totara Valley Rd, possibly via the Mikonui Spur Bivouac, Judd said.

It said he expected to be out on October 25, but the man's car was found in the car park at the start of the track.

"That time delay is certainly of concern for us," Judd said.

The man's family said it was not uncommon for him to spend weeks at a time in the area, he said.

"He's experienced, knows the area well, has done a lot of tramps like this and spent a lot of time in the hills on his own and goes for quite long periods as well,'' he said.

"That's why there's been the delay in us getting a call.

"They [the family] weren't 100 per cent sure exactly when he was coming out."

Judd said the incident highlighted the importance of entering plans in a hut book.

"These hut books are crucial. It's a perfect example of that," he said.

Police were keen to hear from anyone who has been in the area in recent weeks and encountered Taylor.

He is described as being about 1.73 metres tall, of skinny build and wearing glasses.

The Press