Members of Police Search and Rescue spent several hours last night searching for a walker who became disoriented behind Eastbourne yesterday afternoon.
Sergeant Jo Holden, Wellington Police Search and Rescue coordinator said the 55 yr old man had walked up onto the Ridge track from York Bay at around 11am yesterday. He then headed south towards Eastbourne and the McKenzie Track, but then unintentionally dropped off the main track onto a Possum Control trail leading into Gollans Stream.
Police were first alerted to the missing man at about 7.30pm by a flatmate to whom he had sent a text message saying he was lost. He was described as a slow walker with very little bush experience and was not equipped for anything more than a day walk.
Police Search and Rescue members were able to make contact with him on his cellphone and deduced that he was either in the Gollans Stream or on East Ridge between Wainuiomata and Eastbourne.
Three Police search teams headed into the area at around 9.30 pm last night. One team, including Eastbourne Community Constable Anthony Harmer and a Police SAR Dog handler, tracked the man down a well-marked possum trail into Gollans Creek, and found him at 1.41am this morning.
Sergeant Holden said he was very cold and tired but otherwise unharmed. Westpac Rescue winched the man from the bush and flew him to Wellington Hospital to be checked.