Wellington Scoop

Trapped by rain and flooding, group rescued from DoC hut in Remutaka Forest Park

News from NZ Police
A group of young people caught out by bad weather earlier this week had a lucky escape when Police Search and Rescue picked them up from the DoC hut where they were sheltering.

On Sunday, the group of five set out on a tramp in Remutaka Forest Park. They planned to stay only one night at Boar Inn, a DoC hut on the Orongorongo River.

During the trip, a front brought heavy rain to the area, which raised the river to an impassable level and left the group stranded.

The group managed to make contact by text message on Monday afternoon.

While they were not in immediate danger, food supplies were running low, and the forecast for the rest of the week showed further rain, meaning it was unlikely that river levels would recede.

Police Search and Rescue (SAR) advised the group to stay put and that they would work to reach them as soon as weather conditions allowed.

During a lull in the rain on Wednesday, a SAR team in a four-wheel drive was able to make it to within a short walk of the stranded party.

Sergeant Hamish Knight, of Wellington Community Policing and SAR, says despite running into trouble with weather, the group had made some good choices.

“Even though they entered a valley that many know to pose problems during consistent rain, the group had planned their trip and had let someone know where they were going. Once they got into trouble they knew their limits and made the smart choice of seeking shelter in a hut.

“Anyone who sets out on a hiking trip should do the same, as well as making sure they have adequate provisions, and appropriate clothing and gear for the conditions.”

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