4 Jul 2016

4WD rescue costs police $56,000

1:46 pm on 4 July 2016

The rescue of a snowed-in group of four-wheel drivers from Central Otago cost $56,927, but police say they will never charge people who need help.

The 4WD vehicles that had to be rescued from Old Man Range along Waikaia Bush Road last Sunday.

The 13 vehicles were covered in snow in Old Man Range along Waikaia Bush Road in May. Photo: Facebook / Heliview

The group of 38 Southland people had to be pulled from the Old Man Range six weeks ago after getting stuck high up the mountain road during winter's first storm.

The operation took 26 hours and involved civilian and military helicopters and special snowcat vehicles.

Police have calculated the cost at $56,927.53, but said they are funded to do search and rescue work, and would never try to charge anyone who needed help.

Police said they spend about $3 million a year on search and rescue.

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