Search set for missing tramper
A ground and aerial search of the Heaphy Track will be launched at first light tomorrow for a West Coast tramper who has been missing for two weeks.
Andrew Ross White, 55, of Karamea, entered the track from the Takaka end in Golden Bay on August 6 and police were notified today that he had not been seen since.
A police spokeswoman said today that media coverage of his disappearance had prompted people who believed they had seen him on the track near its Karamea end to contact police.
Searchers with dogs would enter the track from the Karamea end tomorrow morning and it was hoped a helicopter would also join the search, she said.
Today, checks began of hut log books to track White's trip but bad weather prevented any aerial searching.
White, who sometimes went by the name Ross Andrews, purchased two hut tickets for the track and was dropped off at its start. He had stayed the previous night at Nirvana Backpackers in Takaka.
Police said he was not well equipped for his trip and feared for his safety.
The 78.4-kilometre track is New Zealand's longest Great Walk and ends just north of White's small home town, the West Coast's northernmost township with a population of 423 in the 2006 census.
He was described as European, about 1.75 metres tall, of thin build with grey hair and balding on top, wearing blue-framed glasses and likely to be wearing a baseball cap.
Police wanted to speak with anyone who had been on the Heaphy Track since August 6 and anyone who might have seen or spoken with White, either in Takaka or elsewhere.
Anyone with information was asked to contact either Westport or Nelson police.
White was the second person reported missing in the past week from Karamea.
Last Tuesday evening, police were notified that Karamea teen Cory Thomas Waines, 19, had been missing for two days.
A member of the public found his body that evening in his car submerged in Oparara River, near Karamea.
Waines' funeral was to be held at Karamea Area School Hall, where he was a former student, at 2pm today.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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