Colin's 48 hours lost in the bush
Colin, an experienced tramper, was enjoying the wonderful outdoors when he became lost. While reluctant to set off his emergency locator beacon, he came to the realisation that he was lost, tired after tramping for four days, extremely disoriented, nighttime was fast approaching, and he had no cell phone coverage.
Another important consideration was that he knew it wouldn’t be long before his family become extremely worried. Knowing he had no way of contacting them, he didn’t want to put them through that.
Decision made, Colin set off his Emergency Locator Beacon and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter was tasked to find him. Having a beacon certainly made the rescue crew’s job much easier. Colin was found, winched on board the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and returned safely to his family. It became noticeably clear after Colin was safely in the Helicopter that the outcome could have been very, very different.
One of the crewmen pointed out to me that if I had taken a small number of steps in one direction, I would have fallen down a substantial cliff, the outcome would have been very different.
Colin feels incredibly lucky to have the outcome that he did, but often thinks how his story could have been very different.
This highlighted to both Colin and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter team the dangers of becoming disoriented while out tramping in New Zealand’s great outdoors and the importance of carrying an emergency locator beacon.