Missing woman and children found

UPDATED 4.50PM: A woman and four children who’ve been missing in Te Urewera National Park for the past 48 hours are in the process of being winched out the bush this afternoon.

Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander Inspector Kevin Taylor says the group had originally entered the park in the Otamatuna Ridge area, northeast of Murapara, at about 1pm on Tuesday.


Police say the woman and children, aged 4-9, who went missing in Te Urewera National Park have been found safe and well. Supplied Photo.

Search and rescue teams then scoured the area looking for the woman and children, aged 4-9, after they were reported missing at about 4pm on Wednesday.

Kevin says the group were found at about 3.45pm today and are in the process of being winched out by helicopter, after which they will be assessed by ambulance staff.

“We are hugely relieved that the group have been found safe, and that we are able to return them to their family,” he says.

“We also acknowledge the fantastic efforts of all of the search teams, including LandSAR volunteers and Police staff, who have been working tirelessly to find them.

“Also, a huge thank you to the people of Tuhoe who have provided excellent support throughout the search operation, and to the New Zealand Defence Force who offered assistance.”

Kevin says they were fully prepared to keep searching through the night if the group hadn’t of been found.

“All are relieved and thankful that the group won’t be having to endure a third cold night in the bush,” Mr Taylor said.

The family have now been informed that the group has been found.

EARLIER 4.10PM:

The woman and four children have all been found safe and well, police say.

Search and rescue teams have been scouring Te Urewera National Park after the group, which included children aged 4-9, were reported missing on Wednesday afternoon.

The group were reported overdue from a 1-2 hour walk in the Otamatuna Ridge area, North East of Murapara. They had been dropped off just after 1pm on Tuesday.

EARLIER:

UPDATED 1.40PM: Search and rescue teams continue to comb a section of Te Urewera National Park to find a woman and four children, aged 4-9, who were reported missing on Wednesday afternoon.

Police launched a search and rescue operation after the group were reported overdue from a walk in the Otamatuna Ridge area, North East of Murapara.

The group, who are believed to have been visiting the area, had been dropped off just after 1pm on Tuesday for the 1-2 hour walk.

Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander Inspector Kevin Taylor says every effort is being made to locate them.

“At this stage we have 10 search teams combing the area, supported by helicopters, with a focus on finding them as soon as possible.

“We’ve also got excellent support from local iwi and LandSAR volunteers with the search operation.”

Kevin understands the group are equipped with warm clothing, but it’s unclear how much food they have with them.

But weather in the area is currently fine, still and reasonably warm which is a positive, and police’s hope is the group have been able to shelter somewhere and keep warm until they could reach them, he says.

“With young children in the group, there are obvious concerns about their welfare, but we have experienced search teams working their way methodically through the search area and our hope is that they will be found safe and well.”

The search will continue throughout the day and will be assessed as any new information came in.

Anyone with any sightings of the walking party are asked to contact Bay of Plenty Police on 07 348-0099.

EARLIER:

Search and rescue teams are deployed in Te Urewera to look for a woman and four children reported missing yesterday afternoon.

Police were alerted just before 4pm Wednesday afternoon when the five people were reported overdue from a walk. The age of the children ranges from four to nine.

They were dropped off just after one o’clock on Tuesday for a one to two hour walk in the Waimana Valley at the northern end of the park.

Search and rescue teams and a helicopter have been searching in the Otamatuna Ridge area overnight and continue today.

Anyone with any sightings of the walking party are asked to contact Bay of Plenty Police on 07 348-0099.




You may also like...

0 Comments

There are no comments on this article.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now