A search and rescue effort in remote bush country has stood down after a pig hunter they were searching for was tragically found dead.
Martin Duff, known as Darky Duff, who was a 60-year-old man from Tokaanu, went pig hunting on horseback on Wednesday (7 January, 2009) in bush between National Park and Turangi. He had with him a team of four pig dogs.
He was due to return the following day but failed to do so. It was not unusual for Mr Duff to stay away longer than intended on hunts, but by Saturday when he still hadn't returned family and friends initiated their own search of his usual hunting spots.
Police were then notified on Saturday evening and a search and rescue operation was launched with volunteers from Taupo/Turangi, Taumarunui and National Park. In total over 30 people were involved in the operation.
Around midday on Sunday rescuers located Mr Duff's horse and two pig dogs near a river bed and today (Monday, 12 January) around 12.20pm Mr Duff's body was located in a three metre deep pool in the Waipari Stream.
The Taupo helicopter had to winch a rescuer down 40 metres to attach a grappling hook to Mr Duff and to recover him to the aircraft.
The cause of death is not known at this stage. Family have been notified.
Media enquiries should be referred to Communications Manager Kim Perks on 06 351 2546 or 027 234 8256.