SEARCH AND RESCUE

Scouts rescued after stranding on Lewis Pass

Friday 11 December 2009, 11:32AM
By New Zealand Police
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HOKITIKA

 

On Thursday the 10th December a party of ten Scouts, aged between 15 and 17 years were airlifted out of the bush from the upper Tauramakau River area. The group entered the bush on Wednesday at the start of a four day tramp through to Windy Point near Lewis Pass.

Due to heavy rain in the area they could not reach the first hut and attempted to return to the road. They got as far as Pfeifer Creek, which had became impassable. The group waited overnight for the river to drop, but given the continued heavy rain it remained impassable so they called for help with their mountain radio.

The West Coast Solid Energy Rescue Helicopter was sent to the area and located the group at about 11.30am. Three trips were required to ferry the group to Jacksons Cafe, where they were able to get warm and dry. Some of the group were suffering from the early stages of hyperthermia after spending over 12 hours in the rain without shelter.  Given the adverse weather forecast the tramp should not have been attempted, but once they realised they were trapped they had done everything right.