NZ Herald

Lost, cold and dehydrated – 61-year-old man

May 1, 2023

Locator beacon
The LandSAR volunteers from Southland and Fiordland were flown into difficult terrain to begin searching for the man.

Rescue teams worked through the night to retrieve a 61-year-old from the Southland bush after he became lost.

The activation of the man’s personal locator beacon at 8pm on Saturday night sparked a manhunt through dense vegetation and rough terrain.

It required the assistance of Southern Lakes Helicopters and a team of six LandSAR volunteers from Southland and Fiordland, who were flown in.

After an extensive seven-hour search through the night, the man was found cold, lost and dehydrated but uninjured, said police on-scene co-ordinator Sergeant Alun Griffiths.

But his retrieval was not simple. The dense vegetation and rough terrain made it impossible to winch the man with a helicopter.

Staff stayed with him on the ground, warming him and conducting on-scene assessments before assisting him to the Teal Bay Hut.

Griffiths commended the efforts of the rescuers who worked through the night to get the man to safety.

“Due to the beacon being damaged a large degree of talent and a small amount of good luck saw the man successfully located,” Griffiths said.

He said this was a reminder to all outdoor explorers of the importance of personal locator beacons.

Locator beacon
The man’s personal locater beacon was his ticket out of the bush when he became lost.

“Beacons are a lifesaving tool which allows rescue teams to respond to your location as soon as possible,” Griffiths said.

“If you are exploring the outdoors and feel that you are in danger and are unable to contact emergency services any other way, please activate your beacon.”

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