14 Sep 2011

Tramper airlifted from Lewis Pass walkway

8:44 am on 14 September 2011

A search and rescue team has airlifted a tramper reported to be suffering from hypothermia from a ridge near Lewis Pass in the South Island.

The Rescue Coordination Centre says the woman, 22, is one of a group of seven on the St James Walkway, just south of Nelson Lakes National Park.

The group set off a distress beacon at 2.25pm on Tuesday.

Members also passed on information about their plight via Canterbury Mountain Radio.

A rescue helicopter from Nelson attempted to fly in to the area on Tuesday afternoon but was hampered by poor weather and gale force winds.

The conditions also prevented a land search and rescue team reaching being sent in.

The Rescue Coordination Centre says the weather cleared enough for the helicopter from Nelson to reach the woman just before 7am on Wednesday.

She has been taken to Christchurch Hospital and the other six members of the party have chosen to walk out.