Victim of climbing accident named

Victim of climbing accident named


Canterbury Police are now able to name the climber who died after being airlifted from Aoraki Mt Cook National Park yesterday (23 December 2015).  She was 28 year old Nicola Anne Andrews from Melbourne, Australia.

The death has been referred to the Coroner.

Inspector Dave Gaskin says Police investigations are continuing to determine what led to the tragic accident occurring.  “Nicola was with a group of three equally experienced and equipped climbers on the Footstool before she fell around 300m onto the Eugenie Glacier.  She was very seriously injured but still alive when members of her party set off a personal locator beacon.”

“The fact that the climbers were able to call for help by setting of a beacon enabled emergency services to reach Nicola relatively quickly and gave her the best possible chance of survival.  The climbing party have been working with Police to piece together the events which led to the tragic fall.”

“In this mountainous terrain the margin of error is extremely small and unfortunately the consequences can be life changing or fatal.  At this stage it would appear that Nicola and her climbing partners did everything they could to minimise risks.  They will be asking themselves ‘what if’ and trying to understand how this tragic accident could have happened.  Unfortunately, given the volatile terrain, sometimes there is no explanation.”

Canterbury Police urge anyone who is heading into the high country this summer to make sure they have checked the weather conditions, planned their trip, know their limits, take adequate equipment and supplies and always carry a personal locator beacon.  Remember to tell someone you trust where you are going, who you are going with, when you’ll be back and of course tell them when you have returned. 

The warmer weather we are experiencing is changing the conditions we typically associate with this time of year so follow the five simple steps of the Outdoor Safety Code to mitigate risks so that emergency services don’t become the next member of your expedition.

More information on the Outdoor Safety Code:


Issued by:  Lisa-Marie Brooks, District Communications Manager, Canterbury Police District