Saturday, 23 May 2009 - 10:04pm |
National News

Teenagers rescued from snow-covered ranges

1 min read

Two teenage boys lost in the Ruahine ranges have been rescued after a six hour search and rescue operation.

The two boys, aged 16, who are from Palmerston North and Ashhurst, left around 9am this morning (Saturday, 23 May) to go for a day tramp to Rangiwahia Hut and back.

At 4.07pm police were notified that one of the boy's had used his cellphone to contact his father. He said they thought they were not far from Rangiwahia Hut but had lost the track.

They had attempted to retrace their steps back down Dead Man's Track but became disorientated. They were are up to their waists in snow, had limited food and inadequate clothing. They did each have a survival blanket and were using those to try to keep warm.

Three search and rescue teams were deployed. They had to go in on foot as the weather conditions of severe southerly winds, rain and snow, were are too bad for the helicopter to assist. The first team of three reached the hut at 8.30pm after a two-hour trek.

Fortunately the Search and Rescue Controller, Constable Kevin Dalzell was able to talk to the boys on their cellphone every hour to get updates on their conditions and give them advice about keeping warm.

Approximately 9.55pm the boys were located approximately 1km away from the hut by the search and rescue team. They are suffering from the cold but otherwise safe and well. They will stay overnight in the hut with the search and rescue team and then make their way back down in daylight.

Constable Dalzell: "Our concerns were very high because of the extreme conditions and their lack of adequate clothing and experience. We were all set to search all night but are very pleased that the first team in were able to locate them so quickly."

Media enquiries should be referred to Communications Manager Kim Perks on 06 351 2546 or 027 234 8256.