Beacon aids rescue of injured girl

3 May 2008

An incident in the MacKenzie Basin today (Saturday 3 May) has again highlighted the benefit of carrying emergency distress beacons says the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ).

A Dunedin family tramping in the MacKenzie area were fortunate to come across a well-equipped hunter carrying a 406 Megahertz personal locator beacon (PLB), enabling the speedy rescue of the injured girl. RCCNZ Search and Rescue Officer Conrad Reynecke said the 14-year-old girl was suffering an ankle injury when their party of seven were discovered by the possum hunter, just after midday today.  The hunter then activated his beacon, alerting RCCNZ who launched a helicopter search and rescue mission.Mr Reynecke said the group were located in the Three Forks area near the Huxley River early this afternoon. The injured girl and her father were evacuated by Helicopters Otago.“The carrying of distress beacons greatly assists rescuers in locating those who are in need of help, with the 406 MHz type of beacon particularly helpful as it can usually be detected within minutes and provides a more accurate position than other older types of beacon,” he said.

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