UPDATE: Search resumes for two men lost in forest, near Kaimanawa Forest

UPDATE: Search resumes for two men lost in forest, near Kaimanawa Forest

Bay of Plenty

Police and LandSAR volunteers have resumed the search for two men in Tongariro National Park, on the edge of Kaimanawa Forest, this morning.

A search team left the area shortly after 9pm last night after finding a number of items of interest.

Remnants of a campfire were found near to where the 111 call was made on Sunday morning. The fire was most likely lit on Saturday.

Clothing and a shoe were found approximately 150m north of where the fire was.

For today’s search, 40 Search and Rescue volunteers have travelled from areas as far as Tauranga and Whanganui. 

They will continue the intensive search in 10 teams of four and are entering the area now.

Due to poor weather, a helicopter is not able to assist.

The search will focus on the area radiating out from where the campfire and clothing was found.

Police believe the two men will now be in a very serious condition, likely suffering from hypothermia.

Inspector Kevin Taylor says the search teams will remain in the bush for the day.

“The bush is exceptionally dense and this is a challenging search,” he says.

“If the two individuals are in a condition where they’re not responsive, they will only be found once a searcher is in their immediate vicinity.

“The longer these young men remain in these conditions, the less likely it is that they will survive. However, today we still remain determined and hopeful that we will find them alive.”

Any further updates on the search today will be released as they become available. 

ENDS

Police Media Centre