Remutaka rescue highlights benefits of personal locator beacons

A trail runner has been rescued from the Remutaka Forest Park overnight after activating his personal locator beacon (PLB).

Police received a call about 9.25pm last night stating the runner was overdue on the Papatahi Track.

He had last been seen near the Wharepapa hut about 1pm and had been due out by 5pm.

Police Search and Rescue (SAR) teams deployed to search the track from either end however he had not been located.

About 12.30am the runner activated his PLB, alerting RCCNZ, and he was winched to safety by the Westpac rescue helicopter.

He had become disoriented and was well off his intended route, in dense bush.

While the conditions were calm and not exceedingly cold, the runner was taken to hospital with suspected hypothermia.

Constable Pete Cadle of Wellington Search and Rescue says this is a great example of a PLB getting someone out of what could have been a precarious situation.

“Rescue beacons save lives – it’s that simple. In this case the man was able to be rescued quickly, even though he was far off his course.

“We want to remind anyone entering the bush to be prepared.

“Take a warm layer, extra food, and a PLB is worth the investment.”

/NZ Police Public Release. View in full here.