Year  

Records Found: 5
Fatalities: 1
PLB Activated: 2
Fall: 3
Overdue: 1
Lost: 1

SAR Reports - 2021


Abbreviations
ACR - Alpine Cliff Rescue
CAA - Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
DOC - Department of Conservation
FENZ - Fire & Rescue New Zealand
LandSAR - Land Search & Rescue (groups)
PLB - Personal Locator Beacon
RCC - Rescue Coordination Centre (Wellington)
SAR - Search & Rescue


08/04/2021 Mingha Valley
At 1402hrs RCCNZ receive a PLB activation located approx 1.2km south of the Minhga Biv. RCC dispatched the Rescue Helocopter (from ChCh?). On locating the PLB and it was established that a mother and daughter (19yo) had been tramping the Deception/Minhga route and had become separated (the mother activated the PLB). RCC request Police to put LandSAR on standby should they not be able to find the daughter. The daughter however is located a short time later by the helicopter. The daughter had taken a wrong turn on the Mingha route, however was able to re-orientate herself, but had missed meeting her mother.
01/04/2021 Hallelujah Flat, Andrews Stream
At 0735hrs Police are notified (via Phone) of a female (same school group as previous incident) with an injured ankle, and is unable to walk out. Incident is passed to Ambulance. The Christchurch Rescue Helicopter is dispatched to uplift the patient. The patient is taken to Arthur's Pass.
31/03/2021 Poulter Hut
DOC staff working in the Poulter Valley are made aware of a male school teacher at the Poulter Hut; he has an injured ankle and is unable to walk out. The alarm is initially raised with Police SAR at 0800hrs, however whilst passing to Ambulance, RCCNZ receive a PLB activation / Inreach message for the same incident and take control of the incident. The Greymouth Rescue Helicopter is tasked with uplifting the patient.
25/03/2021 Goat Pass / Mingha River
At 0857hrs Police are contacted by the owner of a local backpackers stating that a 63yr old female tramper has failed to return from a day trip over Goat Pass from the Morrison Footbridge (Deception River) to Greyney's Shelter (Mingha River). The previous day, the informant had waited for her at Greyney's; when she failed to show the informant walked up the Mingha Valley route expecting she was just delayed and would meet her and walk out. The informant ended up spending the night walking the route to the Mingha Biv. She had signed the hut book there but he did not locate her. Further inquiries by Police SAR managed to identify her partner, who had been receiving messages via a Spot PLB Beacon and was able to confirm that she was fine and now walking out. After becoming disorientated near the Mingha Biv and with daylight failing she had decided to return to Goat Pass Hut for the night before continuing out the following day. The informant picked up the missing woman at Greyneys.
20/03/2021 Rolleston River Valley
A 53 year old female was reported missing from the Christchurch area in January 2021; she had however not been heard of since 19th November 2020 when her Twitter account indicated she was "heading to the mountains". A public appeal for sightings turned up an entry in the Carrington hut book that she intended to tramp to Waimakariri Falls hut, Waimak Col, and the Rolleston River. An entry found in the Waimakariri Falls hut book on 3rd March, dated 21st November 2020, indicated her plan to carry on to either the Rolleston River or Hunts Creek; she indicated she had arrived there in a storm.
West Coast Police SAR carried out a preliminary helicopter search on Monday 8th March of the Rolleston River and Hunts Creek area finding nothing. A subsequent USAR Drone search recorded areas of interest in the rugged terrain.

On Saturday 20th March there was a combined search by Police, Police dogs, CanyonSAR teams, Helicopter, and Alpine Cliff Rescue. This search discovered the badly decomposed remains of a person in the Rolleston River area. DNA testing will likely confirm it is the missing tramper.