24 Dec 2013

Search for tramper on hold

8:41 pm on 24 December 2013

The search for a missing English tramper in the Nelson Lakes National Park is on hold for the next two days due to forecast bad weather.

Andrew Wyatt was last seen leaving the Blue Lake hut on the Te Araroa track on 15 December.

He was reported missing after he failed to pick up a pre-arranged food package.

A police spokesperson says enquiries to Mr Wyatt's family and via social media, as well as checks of his mobile phone and bank records, have not yielded anything as yet.

The spokesperson says heavy rain and severe gale force nor-westerlies are forecast, with the first break in the weather not expected until Friday, at which time five teams will be sent in.

He says it's a three-day tramp to the search area so searchers will have to be flown in by helicopter.

Senior Constable Gerry Tonkin says the 41-year-old radiographer from Sheffield attempted to make the same walk last year, but gave up and left the area.

He says there's a possibility the same thing happened this year.

Mr Tonkin says Mr Wyatt was carrying only minimal gear, but the weather has been good over the last week.

He says Mr Wyatt did not have a locator beacon and the mobile number his family has for him is switched off.