Search finds family lost in bush

A family that became lost in the bush while walking in the Kaimai Ranges has been found safe and well.

The two adults and two children aged nine and three-years-old became lost in the Waiorongomai Valley south of Te Aroha at about 5.30pm on Saturday.

The Tauranga based TrustPower TECT rescue helicopter was called to aid in the search for the family. Rescue pilot Liam Brettkelly says the helicopter equipped with a night sun search light and crew wearing night vision goggles flew to Te Aroha to commence the search.On arrival they were informed the missing family had already been located by a ground search and rescue team. Te Aroha Police Constable Ben Wayne says the Morrinsville family became lost in the bush and contacted police via cellphone at about 5.30pm. “Two adults and two children were walking in the Waiorongomai Valley when they became lost. “They called police and stayed put, which is the right thing to do. A land search and rescue team and police staff assembled and entered the bush. “There were three teams of two, including LandSAR from Hamilton and police staff.” Ben says the family was located by the dog team about 3-4km up the Waiorongomai Valley creek at about 10.30pm. They were walked out of the bush by the LANDSAR team and arrived back at about 2.30am.

“They were all safe and well and they were extracted and got out about 2.30am.
Ben says they were all wearing suitable clothing and had good cellphone coverage throughout the search.