Waikato Police rescue two hikers at Crosbies Hut, Coromandel
Waikato Police have returned from an overnight rescue at Crosbies Hut in the Coromandel Forest Park.
At approximately 6pm last night, a distressed man called 111 to report that he and his hiking partner were cold and wet, likely suffering from hypothermia.
The Auckland hikers had been intending to complete an overnight walk from Sunday to Monday but were held up in the wet weather.
On Sunday night they made an overnight shelter on the track with a blanket, before heading further towards the hut on Monday.
On Monday afternoon, the two arrived cold and wet at the hut and were unable to make a fire to warm themselves up.
Following the 111 call last night, a search and rescue team of nine people, including LandSAR volunteers and three police officers, entered the track.
Due to poor weather, a helicopter was not able to assist.
The rescue team walked up the wet track with warm and dry gear for the two hikers and arrived at 1am this morning.
The team stayed at the hut with them overnight.
This morning, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter uplifted the two hikers for treatment at Thames Hospital.
They were in a moderate condition.
The rescue team walked out at approximately 9am today.
Sergeant Phil Bell says the hikers were ill-equipped for an overnight trip, particularly in the harsh weather.
“Both of the hikers have assured us that they will be getting more appropriate equipment before they head out for another hike,” he says.
“Although they had enough food and water, they had no sleeping bags and no proper rain coats.
“They were already dangerously cold when they got to the hut, which didn’t help with their ability to light a fire for self-recovery.
“Without a dry set of clothes, they are very lucky that there was sufficient cell phone reception.
“We remind anyone walking on New Zealand’s outdoor tracks to prepare for changing conditions as worse-case scenarios can and do happen.
“Anyone going on a hike should always have warm and waterproof layers with them and an appropriate means of communication.”
Further details on keeping safe outdoors, even on a short walk, is available at the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council’s website: https://www.mountainsafety.org.nz