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Westland rescue 'a reminder to take care'

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/05/2017

The rescue of three tourists in dense bush near Franz Josef Glacier is a reminder to trampers to plan trips with care as winter approaches, police say.

With conditions getting colder and days becoming shorter, their advice is to seek local knowledge and work out a route before heading out.

The trio lost their way on Monday after leaving Roberts Point track to find a waterfall.

They climbed to about 490 metres above sea level, became disoriented and couldn't get down because of cliffs.

Police were alerted about 3pm and a small team from South Westland Land Search and Rescue and Franz Joseph Glacier Guides began a search.

Although communication was established by whistle, the dense bush and the distance the tourists had travelled meant it took two hours to reach them.

After darkness fell, a second search team arrived, spotted a torch belonging to the lost party and were able to help with directions.

Police say the trampers were lightly but adequately equipped for a day trip, in good spirits when found and able to walk out by 6pm.

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