15 Aug 2013

Coroner rules on Otago tramper

11:55 am on 15 August 2013

A coroner has ruled an Otago tramper found after a two week bush search had died within the first 24 hours from a fall.

Dunedin librarian David Palmer, 53, was found in a creek bed in the Ahuriri Valley in May last year.

A large search team had scoured the area for a fortnight after Mr Palmer had failed to return from a tramp.

Otago coroner David Crerar found Mr Palmer must have slipped on moss 30 to 40 metres above the creek, suffering multiple serious injuries.

He says Mr Palmer was a diabetic who managed his condition well but could have suffered hypoglycemic effects after the fall.

The coroner says the tramper was fit and appropriately equipped, but may have survived if carrying a personal locator beacon.