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He died in a fall: body of Wellington tramper found in Tararuas after 11-day search

body-found-by-searchers

Wellington.Scoop
The body of missing Wellington tramper Darren Myers was found today in the Tararuas, after an 11-day search.

Speaking to media this afternoon, Sergeant Tony Matheson said Mr Myers appeared to have died from a sudden fall, probably on Thursday 30 May.

RNZ reports that Mr Matheson said Mr Myers was believed to have been trying to get down to a stream area when he fell. The site had been searched several times but remained an area of interest and it was due to the good work of the helicopter company with a pilot going back in there this morning.

“It happened very suddenly, I don’t think he suffered at all,” Mr Matheson said. “When you’re undertaking a journey like this, there’s always going to be a risk.” He said the body was found about 6m below a waterfall at the headwaters of the Arete Stream. It was an area that searches for the past 14 days had focused on, but not in the direction of the Tarn Ridge Hut where Mr Myers was believed to have been heading.

“There’s been a lot of places up there that we simply haven’t been able to get to, and this has been one of them.”

His brother-in-law Duncan Styles said the family felt gutted over the news. However, they were grateful that Mr Myers had not been lying injured and in pain. “Darren was a very ambitious guy … very keen on the outdoors.” It was Mr Myers’ first visit to the Tararuas, but he had tramped in the Ruapehu area and was well aware of New Zealand environments.

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News from NZ Police – June 11
If missing tramper Darren Myers has been able to make good decisions and if his equipment has stood up to the conditions, then Police believe there may be a chance he is alive. “We are also realistic that as time passes this chance diminishes,” says Police Search and Rescue co-ordinator Sergeant Anthony Harmer.

Police have been searching for Mr Myers, 49, since he failed to complete the Northern Crossing on Saturday 1 June.

Ground search teams were in the Tararua Ranges today however progress was hampered by the weather. A blanket of cloud also meant the aerial search was restricted.

Sgt. Harmer says Police are in constant consultation with specialist health professionals who assess the likelihood of Mr Myers survivability as time passes. “We will continue to use their expertise to assist our decision making going forward.”

News from NZ Police – June 10
Police have located two clues in the search for missing tramper Darren Myers. Police have been searching the Tararua Ranges since Mr Myers, 49, failed to complete the Northern Crossing on Saturday 1 June.

On Saturday a search team found a chocolate bar wrapper wedged in rocks in the headwaters of Arete Stream. This is an isolated area and is 600 vertical metres below Arete Bivouac where Darren was last known to be. We know he had this brand of chocolate bar with him. The wrapper is in very good condition and has an expiry date of 2020 so we are hopeful it belonged to him.

The severe wind in the park could have played a part in how the wrapper arrived in the Arete Stream.

A second search team located a series of boot prints in mud on the route near the Arete Bivouac on Saturday. The boot prints were infrequent and indicated a single person travelling on the Northern Crossing route prior to the recent snow fall.

Due to the age of the boot prints, there is no pattern to assist with identification but we suspect they belong to Darren and date back to the day he left Arete Bivouac.

The search continued today with a focus on the areas highlighted by these two clues.

News from NZ Police – June 9
The search for missing tramper Darren Myers in the Tararua Ranges began again this morning at 7am. The 49-year-old, who is from the UK but living in Wellington, was due to finish his tramp eight days ago but failed to arrive at Mt Holdsworth near Masterton.

Search efforts yesterday remained focused on areas where Mr Myers may have gone off his planned route.

“Search teams, of around 30 people including Police, NZDF staff, and LandSAR volunteers, worked in trying conditions,” says Acting Sergeant Tony Matheson.

“One member of the search team was transported to hospital by Westpac Rescue Helicopter. He rolled his ankle and fractured his tibia while searching a creek bed, he’s at home recovering now.

“Aerial searching continued until around 4pm and search teams will rotate on Sunday.”

Report from RNZ – June 7
The family of missing Wellington tramper Darren Myers say they are not giving up hope of finding him, a week after he went missing in the Tararua ranges.

Mr Myers left on Tuesday morning last week for a five-day hike from Levin to Masterton, and his partner contacted police when he did not return home on Sunday. The search, after being scaled down due to atrocious weather, began again this morning for a sixth day.

Mr Myers’ brother-in-law Duncan Styles told RNZ’s Morning Report the family remained hopeful. He said police experts said if Mr Myers was in his sleeping bag in his tent he would be alive.

“[He will have] run out of food already, but as long as he’s got water he’s quite capable of being alive at this stage. Darren’s very organised, he’s a great adventurer but he’s not a risk-taker. He’s going to be in the right place with his sleeping bag – he’ll be warm – but obviously we need to find him as soon as we can.”

Mr Styles said it had been hard on the family but he had every confidence in the search teams.

News from NZ Police
The search for missing tramper Darren Myers in the Tararua Ranges resumed about 7am. Search activity remains focused on areas of interest where Mr Myers may have gone off his planned route. Aerial searching is scheduled to resume today, along with ground teams.

Weather conditions remain changeable with snow falling across the range in some places.

News from NZ Police – June 6
The search for missing Wellington tramper Darren Myers was suspended at about 7 pm tonight. The aerial search continued today with the assistance of the RNZAF. A second RNZAF helicopter was used to transport search staff and supplies into the area.

Police will reassess the search activity in the morning depending on the conditions.

Earlier News from NZ Police
The search for missing Wellington tramper Darren Myers continues in the Tararuas today, with aerial searching planned. Foot teams will also be deployed if possible.

Police express their gratitude to NZDF, who are providing considerable support again today. Police are also grateful to volunteers and private providers who have come forward to offer assistance.

Aircraft operators not involved in the search are asked to make contact with Police before entering the airspace.

Search activity remains dependent on the weather, which is forecast to deteriorate as the day goes on.

News from NZ Police – June 5
The search for the Wellington tramper missing in the Tararua Ranges will continue today in a limited capacity due to poor weather. The conditions will be assessed throughout the day, and any opportunity to increase the search will be considered.

An aerial search using a helicopter and infrared technology will be conducted if weather allows.

The missing man is 49-year-old Darren Myers, who lives in Karori, Wellington.

News from NZ Police – June 4
Due to deteriorating weather conditions in the Tararuas, the search for the missing UK tramper has been scaled back for the day. This will be continually assessed throughout the afternoon, and any opportunities for further search deployments will be considered.

Conditions are forecast to remain poor over the coming days. Search teams will continue to be deployed when it is safe and as weather allows.

Snowy footprints

Earlier News from NZ Police
The search for the missing man in the Tararua Ranges has resumed this morning. About 50 people, including Police, NZDF staff, and LandSAR volunteers, are expected to be out searching again today. The bulk of the search will be focused on the area between Arete Bivvy and Tarn Ridge Hut, on Mt Holdsworth.

Concerns for the man remain high due to recent weather conditions.

News from NZ Police – June 3
Teams searching for a missing man in the Tararua Ranges are winding down for the evening. The man, from the UK but residing in Wellington, was due to finish his tramp around noon on Saturday but failed to arrive at Mt Holdsworth near Masterton.

Twelve search teams of around 50 people have been working on search efforts on land and in the air today. This has included Police, NZDF staff, and LandSAR volunteers. Concern for the missing man remains high due to the weather conditions.

News from NZ Police – June 2
Police have been searching today for a UK man who is overdue from completing the Northern Crossing in the Tararua Ranges. The man, who is living in Wellington, was due to finish the tramp at noon yesterday but failed to arrive at Mt Holdsworth near Masterton. Police Search and Rescue teams completed a search of huts in the area as well as an initial aerial search. The search is due to resume tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Dave O, 7. June 2019, 20:37

    I’m hoping Mr Myers is found sooner rather than later, but I’m sorry he was doing a solo Northern Crossing in winter, without a personal locator beacon, without correct snow equipment (crampons, ice axe), on a route he never had walked before when the forecast was predicting blizzard conditions. This means he very much was a risk taker. I gather he didn’t leave a detailed trip description nor filled in the log books at the Ohau entrance or the two huts he is known to have stayed at, with his intentions.
    I’ve done the Northern crossing about 3 times, once solo, but even with mountaineering experience and equipment, I wouldn’t think of trying to do it with the weather report as it was.

     

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