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Apple sustains tourist lost in bush

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/08/2016

A British tourist who spent two nights lost in West Coast bush with only an apple for sustenance says it was cold and distressing but he kept telling himself he would be fine.

Stephen Bennett, who only arrived in New Zealand on a working holiday three weeks ago, set off on a walk up Mt Bovis, in Paparoa National Park, on Saturday morning.

Mr Bennett, 28, made it to the top of the mountain but after a fall couldn't find the track to get back down, he told RNZ on Tuesday.

He then fell down a waterfall, injuring the side of his back and his wrist.

A team of two helicopters, 15 ground searchers and a tracker dog searched for Mr Bennett, who rationed himself a single apple for two days.

Mr Bennett could see the rescue choppers searching for him but having lost his phone was unable to signal them with a light.

Rescuers found footprints and his water bottle before tracking him down on Monday.

"One of the men walking down tapped me on the shoulder. It was a relief," he said.

"It did get really cold, I could feel my legs shaking... It was distressing. I just told myself I could keep going."

Mr Bennett was taken to hospital and treated for mild hypothermia.

His family is expected to arrive in New Zealand on Tuesday.

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