Man rescued after activating beacon

21 September 2012, 3:15pm

A 24-year-old tramper was rescued from a forest west of Kerikeri after activating his Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) late this morning.

Daniel Snelling was attempting to walk the length of New Zealand and had set off from the far north earlier this month but got into difficulties yesterday.

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) search controller Chris Henshaw said Mr Snelling had become lost in the Puketi Forest and activated his beacon at 11:08am.

“We were able to obtain information from Daniel’s emergency contacts about his intentions and along with the GPS location information from his PLB, were able to dispatch the Northland Emergency Services Trust (NEST) helicopter to the scene quickly. He was well and truly lost, cold and wet, so it was important to get him to a place of safety.”

Mr Snelling was transferred to Kerikeri by the rescue helicopter, and was checked over by an ambulance crew.  Other than cold and wet, he was not injured.

“This incident really shows the importance of carrying a registered PLB with GPS capability.  RCCNZ was able to respond immediately, turning what had the potential to be a serious incident into a straightforward rescue operation.  Carrying a registered PLB essentially removes “search” from “search and rescue”, drastically increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome,” said Chris Henshaw.

More information about PLBs is available by visiting www.beacons.org.nz

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