2 Apr 2009

Injured tramper well-equipped to survive ordeal

5:51 am on 2 April 2009

A tramper who survived eight days with serious injuries in South Westland says he is thankful he was well-equipped in rugged terrain.

Matthew Briggs slipped and fell about 600 metres from a bluff near Douglas Glacier, breaking his ankle and wrist.

The 33-year-old part-time possum trapper from Middlemarch in Otago eventually hobbled 3km to Horace Walker Hut with his dog to find help.

Other trampers walked for 13 hours to raise the alarm.

Mr Briggs says having the right gear and experience in outdoor skills helped him survive and the accident will not stop him from exploring other rugged landscapes.

Police say Mr Briggs is a tough character and survived by using excellent bush skills and survival skills, though he should have advised people of his intentions.

Mr Briggs, originally from Ireland, agrees he would have been found more quickly if he had left more details about his trip.

He was scheduled to have further surgery for his injuries at a Greymouth hospital on Wednesday.