Wanaka Search and Rescue, Alpine Cliff Rescue team members have successfully recovered the body of fallen tramper Dr Donal Deery from the Cascade Saddle, in Mt Aspiring National Park.
Sergeant Aaron Nicholson the WÃ¤naka Search and Rescue coordinator said a rescue team left WÃ¤naka in the early hours of this morning and reached the accident site in good weather, with moderate winds.
Sergeant Nicholson said that he was very relieved for the family to have Mr Deery's body off the saddle as he was well aware how anxious the family was to have their loved one back home. It has been frustrating waiting for the weather to come right, some 7days after the original accident date.
"Its been very difficult trying to explain over the phone to concerned family members, thousands of miles away why we could not go straight in the following day to retrieve Mr Deery."
Sergeant Nicholson said that WÃ¤naka is fortunate to have some of the country's most experienced and capable mountain guides making up the bulk of our Alpine Cliff Rescue Team. The overwhelming consensus regarding the retrieval of Mr Deery was that the high risks to the rescuers associated with the accident site in less than ideal weather conditions outweighed the urgency to retrieve Mr Deery's body. Obviously if we had an injured party out there the rationale would be quite different.
Sergeant Nicholson said that the next of kin have been advised and he thanked them for their patience and understanding.
Mr Deery's body will be transported to the Dunedin hospital for a post mortem after which the Queenstown Coroner will release the body for repatriation back to Ireland.
Sergeant Aaron Nicholson