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No sign of Palmerston North tramper missing for nine days in national park

News from NZ Police
An aerial search was completed this afternoon in Kahurangi National Park for the missing Palmerston North tramper Alistair Levy. The search over the Castle Basin and bluff areas failed to find any trace of him.

No further plans have been made for teams to enter the field. Any further search will be dependent on information coming forward.

Wellington.Scoop – December 30
A helicopter is today continuing the search for a tramper who’s been missing in Kahurangi National Park since Sunday.

News from NZ Police – December 28
Seven search teams spent a third day searching yesterday for missing tramper Alistair Levy in Kahurangi National Park and found no trace of him. Police hold grave concerns for Mr Levy’s welfare given the time that has elapsed since he was last heard from and the challenging terrain in the area.

Searchers had last night completed their taskings in all of the areas Mr Levy is believed to have been in or near. All searchers were brought in from the field last night.

Search co-ordinator Sergeant Mike Fitzsimons said a team of 13 cavers who have been in communication with Police will be in the Bulmer area today. “They will be in touch if they come across anything of interest.”

A further aerial search is planned for today, after which options will be reassessed.

Earlier News from NZ Police
Four search teams looking for missing tramper Alistair Levy camped in the field in Kahurangi National Park overnight. This morning they have been joined by three new teams, including a second search and rescue dog.

Sergeant Fitzsimons said there was intermittent rain and limited visibility in the area, but it was expected to clear later in the day.

Searchers are in the Mt Owen area which is extremely rugged country.

Mr Levy, who is from Palmerston North, reached the summit of Mt Owen on Sunday and had been expected to join family in Christchurch on Monday. The search for him started on Christmas Day.

News from NZ Police – December 26
Five teams of searchers, including a dog and specialist cavers have today been in Kahurangi National Park searching for a man overdue from a tramp. Alistair Levy, 54, of Palmerston North, left Nelson on Saturday morning for a tramp in the Mt Owen area. He was due to meet family in Christchurch on Monday but failed to arrive.

Mr Levy’s car has been located at the start of the track at Courthouse Flat. His yellow Bauer Tornado mountain bike is yet to be found.

Today search teams covered the Bulmer Tarn, Mt Owen, Branch River and Sunrise Peak to the Owen River Valley. There are extensive cave systems in the area so specialist searchers have been brought in to cover those areas.

A helicopter flew last night with night vision equipment, but failed to locate Mr Levy.

Sergeant John Maxwell of Nelson Police said that when the helicopter was returning from the late night search a laser light was shone into the aircraft. The pilot and crew were able to locate the property the laser was shone from and Police subsequently arrested a person.

Weather in the search area remains favourable today. Mr Levy is an experienced tramper who has completed numerous solo tramps, but he was not carrying a locater beacon.

Police have had a number of people come forward who were in the area, but would still like to speak to anyone else who has been tramping in or around Mt Owen since Saturday.

Nelson Mail: Tramper’s bike found [1]