The Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter has airlifted man to Nelson Hospital after his float plane crash landed. Photo/ Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter

Trio helicoptered out of Kahurangi


Three ladies have been picked up by the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter and returned to Nelson after being stranded by the rising upper Karamea River.

The women were tramping through Kahurangi National Park when their trip was halted by high water.

Duty pilot barry McAuliffe got a call from the Rescue Coordination Centre at 11.40am saying there was a beacon going off at Thor Hut.

Flying conditions were “less than ideal” but despite the low cloud, the team were able to locate and pick up the women without any hassle.

“There were no injuries and they weren’t distressed,” says Barry. “It was just three ladies that were trapped by the high water on the river yesterday, they couldn’t cross it and get to the next hut so they set off their beacon.

“They were at Thor Hut the previous night and made an attempt to get the next hut, Venus hut. But they couldn’t cross the river so they decided to back track and arrived back at Thor hut about 8pm last night. Then today, the river was still quite high so they decided to set off their beacon.

“They would have been fine to sit tight for a bit but they thought they were gonna be stuck there for a while.”

The three women have since been returned safe and sound to the Nelson hangar.