29 Dec 2009

Family rescued after cold night in Ruahine Ranges

10:58 pm on 29 December 2009

A father and his two sons on a hunting trip in the Ruahine Ranges have been winched to safety after a night spent in cold, wet conditions.

The police say the man and his sons, aged 10 and 12, planned to spend Monday night in a hut in the lower North Island ranges, but the 12-year-old fell down a bluff, suffering a head injury.

The man injured his leg trying to rescue his son, and the family also lost their supplies and a GPS unit.

They were forced to bivouac overnight, and on Tuesday morning raised the alarm using a cellphone.

They were found by a Helipro helicopter crew from Palmerston North, and winched to safety following treatment by a medic.

Police say the 12-year-old was alert but had suffered nausea and dizziness.

He also suffered cuts and a possible broken arm.

The trio, who were all suffering the effects of the cold, were airlifted to Palmerston North Hospital for treatment.