Two hunters rescued hours apart in Picton and Southland

A 76-year-old hunter was winched to safety in a five-hour rescue operation last week after falling 150 metres down steep terrain from a road in Picton. 

Hunter, 76, is rescued in Waikawa, Picton. Source: Supplied

Police said today the man fell down the challenging terrain on April 21, prompting a search and rescue effort. 

Marlborough area prevention manager Peter Payne said the man’s cries for help were heard by residents in Waikawa’s Amelia Crescent and another member of his hunting group, who was some distance away. 

LandSAR, New Zealand’s volunteer land search and rescue organisation, helped St John staff reach the man using ropes. 

The LandSAR team then carried the hunter up the terrain to a clearing, where a helicopter took the man to Wairau Hospital. 

The man suffered a broken arm and a dislocated shoulder.

Payne said the incident showed the importance of having a personal locator beacon. 

“On the morning of the rescue, the hunter said he was in a hurry and put on his sneakers instead of his hunting boots, which could have been one of the reasons he slipped,” Payne said. 

“He had recently bought a locator beacon, but unfortunately a mate was using it at the time.”

Payne said the man was very appreciative of the help he received.

Hours later, another search and rescue team was called to the Hokonui Hills in central Southland after a second hunter went missing. 

Eastern Southland land search and rescue volunteers. Source: Supplied

The man had spent hours in the cold and was found at 10.30pm near Dolamore Park, four hours after he used his mobile phone to call his wife, who in turn told police. 

Police were able to determine the man's location by getting him to make a 111 call from his mobile phone, Invercargill police search and rescue coordinator Sergeant Ian Martin said. 

"He was feeling the cold, but otherwise in good health," Martin said.

"He was fortunate, as he had very little food and insufficient gear to spend the night in the bush."