7 Sep 2015

Trampers rescued from Nelson Lakes Park

9:56 am on 7 September 2015

Two young tourists stranded in Nelson Lakes National Park have been airlifted to safety.

Mt Angelus in Nelson Lakes National Park.

The two foreign tourists were en route to Mt Angelus. Photo: 123rf

A break in the weather allowed a helicopter to reach the pair early this afternoon.

The Irish woman and Latvian man, both in their mid-20s, were stuck on the Mt Robert range at an altitude of 1600 metres.

Such an early rescue was unexpected as the conditions had been described as atrocious, with the wind chill dropping the temperature to -18 degrees overnight.

Police said the pair had been in a hypothermic state when they were found but had been checked by a paramedic on the mountain and were unlikely to need any more medical treatment.

Search coordinator, Senior Constable Dave Colville, said the rescue team that walked in overnight did an outstanding job to bring the pair back from a severely hypothermic state before the helicopter's arrived.

The man had called police shortly before 6pm night when his female companion fell from the saddle in the Mt Robert range en route from Speargrass to Mt Angelus.

A team of three search and rescue volunteers, including a doctor, walked eight and a half hours to find them, arriving shortly before 5.30am.

Mr Colville said the pair were in a hypothermic state and the rescue team had erected tents, got a cooker going and filled hot water bottles.

"They put them in the tents in their sleeping bags in fresh dry clothes," he said.

Rescue helicopter crewman Carl Babe said the couple were extremely relieved to be off the mountain.

Mr Babe from Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter said a break in the weather allowed pilot Darryl Sherwin to fly into the Mount Robert range.

He said strong but steady winds meant the helicopter was able to hover below the ridgeline, and collect the pair off the ground.

Mr Babe said it was due to the skill and expertise of the rescue teams that the tourists came out of the situation alive, and that they were very pleased to be out of the situation.