17 Nov 2019

Trampers airlifted to safety after heavy rain on the West Coast

1:01 pm on 17 November 2019

A father and son have been airlifted to safety after being reported overdue from a tramp to the Cedar Flat Hut on the West Coast last night.

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Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

A search team was deployed after the pair failed to return from their tramp at 6pm. Members walked through the night and found them at the hut at 3am today.

Sergeant Mark Kirkwood of West Coast Search and Rescue said the weather in the area yesterday was extremely bad with heavy rain making the track difficult to navigate at times, and flooding rivers and creeks.

The father and son, as well as the search team, were airlifted out this morning.

Police are urging people to check the weather forecast before heading out, even if it's just for a day tramp.

"If the forecast is bad, please delay your trip until the conditions have improved."

Suitable clothing and equipment for the conditions is vital and police recommend carrying a personal locator beacon.