Wednesday, 7 July 2004 - 11:00am |
National News

Search at Arthurs Pass

2 min read

Two Canterbury university students are trapped in a snow cave since they were unable to return from a day’s walk in the mountains near Arthurs Pass last Sunday 4 July.

Friends raised the alarm last Sunday evening when Craig Allan HELM aged 22, from Invercargill, and Nicholas Roderick GORDON aged 21 from Gisbourne, failed to return by 6pm as planned.

Search and Rescue staff, including Alpine Face rescue specialists from Christchurch, Fox Glacier and Mt Cook moved in at day break on Monday and Tuesday. Observers on a helicopter sighted the two on Tuesday morning and they were both waving and active however bad weather has hindered rescue attempts since.

There has been a Land SAR ground party camped up at Page Hut for several nights but they are unable to move due to the extreme avalanche danger.

An attempt to drop gear - food, clothing etc in to the two men yesterday failed as the helicopter could not get in.

Snr Constable Simmonds, O/C Search says that he is extremely concerned as it is now the 4th day and the two young men do not have overnight gear.

7 July 2004


Helicopters still standing by

Two helicopters are standing by at Arthurs Pass this morning. There has been no failed attempt this morning but one helicopter has been up in an attempt to more closely observe conditions over the proposed rescue site.

There is a Garden City Helicopter standing by parked at Arthurs Pass, says Snr Constable Phil Simmonds. This will have to make the lift when the weather clears. It is still waiting for clearance.

There is Hughes 500, owned by Coast Wise, parked up the Minga Valley, the other side of the ridge. This went up this morning as the team of four searchers in the hut thought the weather might be lifting above them. The Hughes 500 went up to get better observation however there was no clearance.

Snr Constable Simmonds says that the weather in Arthurs Pass does have flashes of sun however over the ridge it is still in cloud preventing an attempt.

Morale is holding he says and they are all still positive.