11 Apr 2011

Some trampers misusing locator beacons - police

7:25 pm on 11 April 2011

Police in Queenstown say trampers are sparking rescues with personal locator beacons when they are capable of getting themselves out of trouble.

Land Search and Rescue says unnecessary use of personal locator beacons is a big problem in the United States and an emerging problem in New Zealand.

Senior Sergeant John Fookes says some trampers are using beacons when they are inconvenienced rather than when there is an emergency.

Mr Fookes says police are seeing the use of beacons in circumstances where in the past trampers would have used some initiative to avoid what are essentially minor difficulties.

He says he is aware of trampers activating beacons when a river is too high to cross, rather than waiting for it to subside.