Tramper’s body found by search team; missing for 13 days in national park

missingman

News from NZ Police
Police say they are confident the body recovered from Nelson Lakes National Park yesterday afternoon is that of missing British tourist Andrew Ian Wyatt. Search Coordinator Constable Dave Cogger said Mr Wyatt had an unsurvivable fall from Lake Constance Bluff.

Police are now trying to arrange a formal identification of the body. Mr Wyatt’s family in Britain have been advised.

Police acknowledge the efforts of search and rescue volunteers from Nelson, Golden Bay and Marlborough who worked alongside Police Officers during the operation.

News from NZ Police – December 27
Searchers looking for British tramper Andrew Ian Wyatt in Nelson Lakes National Park have recovered a body which was found at the bottom of a 100 metre cliff. The body is yet to be formally identified. The body was found below the Lake Constance Bluff, which is on Mr Wyatt’s intended route between Blue Lake Hut and Waiau Pass.

Earlier in the day, teams of expert alpine searchers were flown into the Nelson Lakes National Park to begin a ground search. Bad weather had prevented searchers getting to the area before today.

Four ground teams, one dog team and a communications team were flown by Air Force Iroquois. The communications team needed to put in a repeater to enable searchers to communicate with the search coordination centre.

The search started from Blue Lake towards Waiau Pass and Moss Pass.

All of the search and rescue volunteers have been selected for their expertise in alpine conditions.

Search co-ordinator Constable Dave Cogger said he was in daily contact with Mr Wyatt’s parents in the UK who were extremely concerned for their son’s welfare. UK Police are providing support for the family.

Mr Wyatt arrived in New Zealand on 21 November with the intention of walking the Te Araroa Trail which links tramping routes from Cape Reinga to Bluff. The last known sighting of him was on 15 December when he left Blue Lake Hut about 6am.

Police are very keen to speak to anyone who was tramping in the Blue Lake, Sabine Valley, D’Urville Valley area of Nelson Lakes National Park between 13 and 19 December.

Mr Wyatt is 6ft 1in tall, with ginger hair and was carrying light equipment.

Anyone with any information that may be relevant to this search should contact Nelson Police, Ph 03 546 3840.

News from NZ Police – December 26
Search teams are preparing to enter the Nelson Lakes National Park to search for British tramper Andrew Ian Wyatt. Bad weather yesterday and today has so far stopped them getting to the area but it is hoped ground search teams will be able to be flown into the Blue Lake area first thing on Friday.

Meanwhile inquiries into bank and telephone records are continuing and Police are still appealing for sightings of Mr Wyatt, aged 41. He arrived in New Zealand on 21 November with the intention of walking the Te Araroa Trail which links tramping routes from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

The last known sighting of him was on 15 December when he left Blue Lake Hut about 6am.

Mr Wyatt has not been in contact with his parents in Cornwall, England since 12 December.

Police are very keen to speak to anyone who was tramping in the Blue Lake, Sabine Valley, D’Urville Valley area of Nelson Lakes National Park between 13 and 19 December.

News from NZ Police – December 24
A British tourist, Andrew Ian Wyatt, has been reported overdue on a tramp in the Nelson Lakes National Park area. Mr Wyatt, aged 41, arrived in New Zealand on 21 November with the intention of walking the Te Araroa Trail which links tramping routes from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

The last known sighting of him was on 15 December when he left Blue Lake Hut about 6am. Nelson Bays Police are asking if anyone has seen him since then.

Police Search and Rescue Coordinator Senior Constable Gerry Tonkin said a helicopter spent three hours yesterday visiting all of the huts in the area. He said there were a lot of trampers on the tracks, but no sign of Mr Wyatt was found.

Police have been in contact with his parents in Cornwall, England, who said they had not heard from him since 12 December.

Senior Constable Tonkin said Police were hopeful Mr Wyatt had changed his intentions and left the area. “If he is still in that area then we have serious concerns for his welfare, given that he was last seen almost 10 days ago.”

He said the weather was expected to deteriorate from today.

Senior Constable Tonkin said Police were very keen to speak to anyone who was tramping in the Blue Lake, Sabine Valley, D’Urville Valley area of Nelson Lakes National Park between 13 and 19 December.

Today Police efforts are focussed on tracing Mr Wyatt’s bank and telephone records to try and eliminate the possibility he has left the area and is unaware of the concerns for his welfare.

Mr Wyatt is 6ft 1in tall, with ginger hair and was carrying light equipment.

Anyone with any information that may be relevant to this search should contact Nelson Police, Ph 03 546 3840.

Search on hold

Search continues

 

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