A Golden Bay tramper was rescued yesterday evening (January 31) after suffering a nasty fall and spending several days stranded on the mountain.
The man was reported overdue 11am yesterday after he failed to meet his daughter at their agreed pick-up location.
The 74-year-old man set off for his hike on Monday at the Cobb Valley Dam, letting his family know he was safe and well on Wednesday.
When he didn’t show up to the agreed spot or make contact, the man’s daughter became concerned and rung Police.
A helicopter with a Takaka Police Search and Rescue member and a Motueka Land Search and Rescue volunteer began a search yesterday afternoon, spotting items from the air on the sides of Mt Lockett. The team landed and began tracking, locating the items and spots of blood. They soon located the missing tramper, who had fallen down the face of the mountain, suffering lacerations and bruised ribs.
The man had been in that situation since Tuesday and was very sunburnt and dehydrated when the crew located him.
The Nelson Marlborough rescue helicopter was then dispatched with a paramedic, picking up the tramper and taking him to Nelson Hospital in a serious condition. The tramper was very experienced and well equipped with an EPIRB, but lost some of his equipment when he fell.
Search co-ordinator Senior Constable Reuben Mccormack says another night in the bush would have been fatal and praised the man for his actions.
“While the man went through a difficult ordeal, we’re pleased we found him when we did,” says Senior Constable Mccormack.
“Thankfully, this tramper has done exactly what you should do. He had left intentions with family and they did the right thing ringing Police straight away when he became overdue.
“Police wish to thank all the Motueka and Takaka LandSAR volunteers for their assistance. We wish the man a speedy recovery.”
The man remains in hospital.
Issued by the Police Media Centre