Sunday, 29 January 2023 - 3:02pm |

Missing West Coast man found alive

1 min read

The man in his 60’s reported missing on 24 January 2023 has today been found alive.

Martin O'Brien was reported missing after his family became concerned for his welfare when he did not return after stating he was going into the bush. 

Over the course of this week, Police had extensively canvassed the West Coast looking for Mr O’Briens vehicle.

The vehicle was located on 27 January 2023 near Bell Hill Road, Moana. West Coast Search and Rescue was then deployed.

The search was expanded today and this morning a hut book entry was noted in the Jacko Flat hut on 24 January 2023 from Mr O’Brien. The hut is approximately 20 kms from where he had parked his vehicle.

Search teams were redeployed following the information and then went to the next hut along, Top Crooked hut, where another hut book entry indicated he was heading to Lake Morgan hut.

Lake Morgan hut was checked and he wasn’t there, nor was there a hut book entry. Search teams began searching the area.

A search team went back to Jacko Flat hut and found Mr O’Brien alive and well. 

Senior Sergeant Mark Kirkwood says search teams have gone above and beyond in the search for Mr O’Brien.

“The area is very thick West Coast bush and the teams searched in over 25 degree heat to find Mr O’Brien.

"The teams did an awesome job."

Those searching include LandSAR volunteers, including a search dog team, Kotuku Surf Lifesaving, Police Search and Rescue, and Air West Helicopters from Reefton.


Issued by Police Media Centre