NZ Local News

Person rescued from Far North’s Pukatea Ridge Track

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A patient was airlifted to hospital late Saturday night after coming into difficulty on a remote walking track. Photo / Hayden Woodward

A hiker had to be rescued from a remote Far North walking track on Saturday night after they sustained injuries that rendered them incapable of walking out.

Police and 15 Far North Search and Rescue (FNSAR) volunteers coordinated a rescue at the Pukatea Ridge Track after receiving a request for assistance around 5pm on Saturday.

The person was located around 8.30pm by FNSAR personnel, who remained with them until they could be extracted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter around 11pm, police said.

Far North Search and Rescue operations manager Ian Ruddell said the patient was located on a “reasonably steep” side of the hill on a track.

Ruddell said it was an “extremely hot” evening with early showers and overcast conditions.

The rescue came at a great time as the group was supposed to be completing a first-aid training course that involved a night-time exercise, he said.

“We were supposed to do a night exercise and this turned out to be our night.”

The Far North Search and Rescue Group made it out of the track by 1.25 am on Sunday.

Ruddell said it was a timely reminder to always be prepared when venturing out.

“Carry a PLB (personal locator beacon) and if you injure yourself and are in phone coverage, stay there,” he said.

Pukatea Ridge is a Department of Conservation track and located in the Far North. The track is known for its expansive views and kauri habitat and connects with the Waipapa River Track.

Brodie Stone is the education and general news reporter at the Advocate. Brodie has spent most of her life in Whangārei and is passionate about delving into issues that matter to Northlanders and beyond.

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