28 Jun 2009

Elderly man survives night in Southland bush

5:40 pm on 28 June 2009

An elderly Invercargill man has survived a night in the open in Southland, after becoming disoriented during a bush walk.

John Hall-Jones, 81, a well known local historian and author, was reported missing on Saturday after he failed to return from a walk in Longwood forest, about 45 kilometres northwest of Invercargill.

Police had begun searching the forest after his car was found abandoned on Saturday night.

Senior Sergeant Olaf Jensen says Mr Hall-Jones walked out to a farm property on Sunday afternoon and phoned the police to say he was alright.

Mr Jensen says Mr Hall-Jones had been well equipped for the day walk, and had used a survival blanket to keep himself warm on Saturday night.

He says Mr Hall-Jones is very fit and has done well to survive a night out in mid-winter.