8 Dec 2010

Body found at Franz Josef Glacier

3:33 pm on 8 December 2010

Rescuers searching Franz Josef Glacier for a missing South Korean tourist have found a body.

It is believed to be that of Ergine Cho, 31, who had been in New Zealand for two weeks and was travelling alone.

Police believe he walked off a well-formed track and fell up to 80 metres from a cliff.

They say the body was discovered at the foot of the cliff on Tuesday afternoon and removed by helicopter later in the day.

A rental vehicle had been in the Franz Josef Glacier carpark since about Thursday last week parked in the main glacier carpark, which has foot access to the valley and numerous bush walks.

Police have yet to formally identify the body as that of Mr Cho, but the South Korean embassy in Wellington has been notified of the discovery.

A spokesperson for the Department of Conservation says people have the right to walk anywhere they like in a national park, but if they stray off the paths they are putting their lives at risk.

The spokesperson says he understands there are many signs in the area warning visitors of the danger.