Michael Massie, 20, has been sentenced at Christchurch District Court for taking police on a 700km chase across the South Island.

Rescue underway at lake

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A difficult search and rescue operation is underway in the Nelson Lakes National Park.

Nelson Police received an emergency call about 5.45pm on Saturday. The male caller had become separated from his female tramping companion after she fell off the saddle on the route to Mt Angelus from Speargrass.

It was snowing at the time and conditions prevented a helicopter getting to the pair who were at an altitude of about 1600 metres.

A team of search and rescue volunteers, including a doctor, walked into the area overnight and located the pair shortly before 5.30am today. They were about 25 metres below the saddle and both in a hypothermic state and unable to self rescue or assist their rescuers.

The rescue team was equipped with survival gear for five people. They have has erected two tents and have been working to raise the pair’s body temperature.

Constable Dave Cogger said a report back from the team shortly after 8am today indicated progress was being made in increasing the pair’s temperature.

He said extracting them from the mountain at this stage was not possible as the conditions were atrocious with a wind chill of -18 deg.

A second search and rescue team is heading into the area today to relieve the first team.

The pair are both foreign nationals in their mid 20s. Their levels of experience and equipment is not yet.