5 Dec 2013

Inquest into tramper's death

1:30 pm on 5 December 2013

The head of the search for a man in a remote area of West Coast bush says they were unsuccessful due to the steep and dangerous terrain.

The decomposed body of Rex Taylor, 50, of Christchurch was discovered eight weeks after he was seen leaving a hut in the Mikonui River area, south of Ross.

He was found by a helicopter pilot, six weeks after the search was called off.

At an inquest in Greymouth on Thursday, Sergeant Sean Judd said that during the search he stood 20 metres from where the body was eventually found.

Due to the steep and dangerous terrain, he was not able to explore the area any further.

In his provisional findings, Coroner Richard McElrea said Mr Taylor died almost instantly after falling down a steep slope.

Mr Taylor, who lived alone, belonged to a group of volunteers doing maintenance on remote tramping huts.

His family told police it was not uncommon for him to spend weeks at a time in the bush.