Tramper search 'difficult' for family

DEIDRE MUSSEN AND CAROLINE KING
Last updated 12:00 08/11/2012
Rex Taylor
Supplied
REX TAYLOR: It is believed he was doing volunteer track and hut maintenance when he fell over a bluff.

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The search for a Christchurch tramper who may have been missing for two weeks continues.

Extensive search efforts have so far failed to find 50-year-old Rex Leslie Taylor, an experienced tramper.

West Coast search and rescue co-ordinator Sean Judd said rescuers yesterday covered a "large chunk" of the areas identified in Taylor's final hut book entry.

There were still a few areas to search today, Judd said.

"We're trying to cover off all possibilities."

Judd said he had been keeping in contact with Taylor's family, who were in Christchurch.

"Obviously it's very difficult for them. Certainly the longer it [the search] goes on without result that pressure is going to mount.

"To not have a result would be the worst thing for all concerned," he said.

Taylor was reported missing by his family on Tuesday after he failed to return from a tramping expedition in the Mikonui River area, south of Ross.

 

Taylor's final entry, on October 23, in the hut book said he 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 his car was found in the car park at the start of the track.

Taylor'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.

Police were keen to hear from anyone who had 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.

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- The Press

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