SAR Reports - 2017
19/03/2017 Mt Temple
At 2130hrs Police Comms recieve a call from a friend of two climbers who have contacted him by cellphone to say they have become bluffed on the Temple Buttress of Mt Temple. They were putting up a new route between central & right buttress.One is highly experienced, and had appropriate gear and a PLB.
After discussion with the ChCh ACR team and Arthur's Pass LandSAR, the decision is made to re-assess the situation at first light. Arthur's Pass LandSAR is tasked with spotting the climbers. A single head-torch is spotted before sunrise descending the upper normal descent gully, and the climbers are monitored until they safely reach Page Shelter.
17/03/2017 Mary Creek
At about 1230hrs the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) in Wellington was alerted to a PLB activation in the Julia Hut / Mary Creek area of Arthur's Pass National Park. RCC tasked the West Coast Rescue Helicopter with investigating the beacon. At approx. 1315hrs the helicopter crew discovered a party of three overseas trampers in the headwaters of Mary Creek. One of the party had a mildly injured foot and could no longer walk. All three were flown to the highway.
15/03/2017 Poulter River
A 24 year old, male Swiss tourist was reported overdue after DOC workers exiting the Poulter Valley noted he had not signed out his intentions in the track-head intention book from a two day fishing trip commencing on the 7th March, and his vehicle was still in the car-park. Police were notified, and initiated a helicopter search of the area assisted by Arthur's Pass LandSAR of huts and popular fishing spots in the valley system. Other trampers seen in the valley were interviewed, with nobody having seen him. He was found safe near Poulter River East in the company of another fisherman. He was doing multiple fishing forays in the area, and had only signed in for the first. He was given advice on how intentions work!
31/01/2017 Bealey Spur
A 23 year old male overseas day walker was reported missing by his girlfriend when he failed to return to Bealey Spur hut after he went exploring the ridgelines above the hut. She walked out to the Bealey Hotel to raise the alarm at 2200hrs. Police SAR tasked Arthur's Pass LandSAR with sending a search party up the track to the 1545m peak in an attempt to find the man before a severe storm developed over the area. At 0055hrs the search team located the man near tree-line at 1273m. He was uninjured, cold and disoriented. He was poorly equipped, having only light clothing & rain jacket, and no source of lighting. He became benighted on his return from the ridge, and could not find the track through the forest. Arthur's Pass LandSAR walked the man back to the highway by 0240hrs as heavy rain developed.
18/01/2017 Hawdon River
A PLB signal was received by RCC Wellington for a Swedish country-coded PLB with a position near Discovery Creek Flat below Hawdon Hut. Garden City Helicopters from Christchurch was tasked to the area to investigate before the pending "weather bomb" hit, the pilot reported 50 knot winds enroute. They located two Swedish trampers on a flooded river flat. The trampers had both been swept away in the river which was rising rapidly. The man managed to get out of the river but his partner drifted 300 metres before washing up on a small island in the middle of the river. She was hover-loaded into the helicopter, then the man was picked up and they were flown to Christchurch Hospital for treatment. The woman was hypothermic.