Taranaki Alpine Cliff Rescue (Inc)
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HISTORY OF PAST OPERATIONS

2010- June 7th

A team of five TACR were sent up to Syme Hut to assist a tramper down after he was felled by a gust of wind near the hut and injured his right knee. Rescuers got to him late in the day and as darkness was approaching, they stayed put there till the morning. At 9am the next day in freshly fallen snow and bleak conditions, they walked Mohammed, the 51 year old Auckland tramper back down Fanthams Peak. He was short roped and given assistance when needed, but was able to walk mostly by himself. Four more TACR members and a group of 6 Landsar were also sent up to help, but were not required. All made it out to Dawson Falls by 1pm.

2009- July 14th

At the request of Levin Police, six members drove there to assist with the search for two missing persons overdue from a trip to Kime Hut in the Tararua Ranges. Two members were airlifted in on the track to Field Hut - (Low cloud meant the helo could not get higher in). As the other four were awaiting to board the Iroquois, word came through that a local team had located both bodies near Bridge Peak partly covered in snow. All returned to Levin Police Station for a debriefing, before driving back to Taranaki. Most likely cause of death was reported as hypothermia. Blizzard like conditions had deposited deep snow on the Tararua tops in the days preceeding the search.

2009- February 7th

During the course of the Mount Egmont Alpine Club Open Climb on February 7th, a participant returning via the AMC track from Tahurangi Lodge to the East Egmont Plateau slipped and fell down a steep rocky slide into a ravine some 40 metres below. A 111 call for help was lodged, while others made their way down quickly to assist including EAC/TACR member Glenys Grant, a registered nurse, who gave the injured but conscious male a thorough check over. His injuries were not life threatening but the knock to his head, a sore back and severe grazing of his arms from the slide was enough for him to be airlifted to New Plymouth Hospital by the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter for treatment and overnight observation. Other TACR members on hand were Ian MacAlpine, Ross Eden and Bruce Mouat.

2008 - October 7th

An accident while crossing a flooded stream in Egmont National Park lead to the death of a 56 year old Dunedin woman yesterday afternoon. The woman was swept down the flooded east branch of the Kaupokonui Stream about 12:30pm after loosing her footing while moving over a semi-submerged boulder. The weight of her pack pinned her under the water and she was not seen to surface again. Her 17 year old daughter climbed back up from the stream to raise the alarm telling police they had been attempting to cross the stream in waist deep water. The mother and daughter had been returning from an overnight tramp to Lake Dive Hut. DoC staff at Dawson Falls had warned the pair about the dangers of flash flooding. The first search team located the daughter at about 3:30pm and whle she was brought out to waiting victim support volunteers at Dawson Falls, the rest searched downstream for the mother. The body was found about 6pm some 500 metres further down. Attempts to retrieve the body by helicopter proved too risky and it was eventually carried back out to Dawson Falls at 10:30pm in the ferno-washington stretcher making use of the mono-wheel stretcher carrier. Up to 18 rescuers were involved with this operation, mostly TACR.

2007 - May 12

A relatively straight forward operation utilising two teams to bring down a 26 yr old Aucklander after taking a wrong turn descending from the crater. Thankfully, he had plenty of clothes and was in good condition when reached at 2440m.The original intention was to use the helicopter to get him off, but due to strong winds, the traditional method was used.

2007 - May

Night time rescue of climber stuck near the top of the mountain in icy conditions.

2006 - October

Night search for a climber stranded at the top of the mountain in winter conditions after suffering gear failure and was unable to descend without assistance.

2006 (winter)

Two helicopter strop rescues of climbers with moderate leg injuries.

2005 - March

Night search of the mountains northern side for missing 80 year old climber. Back to cover the area again next day with subsequent location of the body which was recovered by the helicopter team two days later.

2005 - February

Rescue of girl with broken ankle from high on the mountain by lowering her down in a stretcher.

2004 - November

Members involved in two searches for missing people in the same week - in appalling weather and at night. Later in November members responded to a callout for a missing climber, again in poor weather conditions. The climber was located at night with injuries and had to be lowered down at night by the rescue team. To conclude a busy period for the team, we were then involved in the search for a missing light aircraft which was located late in the day at the top of Mt Taranaki. A team was then placed on standby ( for a week until the weather cleared sufficiently) for the bodies to be retrieved from the site - an operation which took two days. This was one of the largest and prolonged operations that Taranaki Search and Rescue has been involved with for a number of years.

2004 - October

Helicopter strop rescue of an injured climber who had slid a considerable distance down the mountain. The evening before, 12 team members were involved in a search for two missing climbers on Fantham's Peak, who had become separated from their party. They were found safe and well and escorted from the mountain.

2004 - July

Search for two missing climbers high on the North Ridge at night, 10 team members involved in this operation. Party were found sheltering high on the mouintain and escorted off to safety.

2004 - (Jan to April)

Involved with 8 operations which included several helicopter strop and winch rescues of injured climbers, and crewing the Rescue Helicopter while searching for EPIRBs(emergency personal locator beacons). We also assisted a party trapped by flood waters, safely across a river.

2003 - July 23rd

Person overdue on summit climb of Mt Egmont via northern route. Helicopter found body of deceased in vicinity of Ambury Bluff - Humphries Castle area. TACR north members put into field.

2003 - July

Search for missing climber in conjunction with the Rescue Helicopter. Location of the body and subsequent recovery of the body next morning with the Rescue Helicopter.

2001 - September 22nd

German male student climber falls from Sharks Tooth and witnessed by a party in Kapuni Lodge. Many TACR members and others assisted with body recovery and stretcher lower from skifield. Next day the three other members of deceased climbers group made their way down from Syme Hut , unaware of what had happened, as they never saw him fall.

2000 - September 11th

Climber overdue from summit climb of Egmont. Body found at bottom of Lizard next day. Many searchers involved - inclement weather mostly.

2000 - April 30th

Two climbers without ice axes or crampons got stuck in mixed conditions below Sharks Tooth. A TACR team of six assisted them back down East Ridge.

1999 - January 30th

Overdue female tramper located at Syme hut. She had stayed an extra night because of bad weather and was escorted down.

1997 - July 2nd (Thursday)

Mt.Ruapehu Avalanche rescue assistance. A request for backup from Ruapehu Alpine Rescue Organisation(RARO) led to 10 people leaving New Plymouth for Ruapehu at 3:30am. Arrived DOC HQ at 8am just as the deceased was found by a police-trained search dog.

1997 - Late June

Paritutu Rescue. A person was reported stranded low down on the seaward side of Paritutu Rock. He was rescued using the helicopter and strop.

1997 - 15th June

Skifield search and body recovery of snowboarder, 22 yrs old. At about 4:30am a blood trail was found in the lower reaches of the Manganui gorge, leading to the discovery of the body.

1997 - Anzac Weekend 25-27th April

Search for 3 climbers. It was discovered that neither had crampons and only one ice axe between them. The body of one was found on the Friday in appalling conditions ( rain, snow, low vis), but no sign of other two. Late next day, the other two were spotted - both in surprisingly good condition.

1996 - 26th December

Man stuck on seaward of Paritutu Rock ( 200m high). He had rock boots. About a third of the way up he entered a 'scoop' which proved impossible to climb out of. Four members were called out and one was lowered from the top.

1996 - 27th August

Manganui Skifield. A person slipped on snow and fell while watching a snowboarding competiton on the top tow. Serious damage to both shoulders. Four members responded.

1996 - 21st August

A woman was swept down the Peters stream just down from Holly hut on the Round the Mountain track. The helicopter managed to sneak in, spot the dceceased, and drop in two ambulance officers. A clearance a short time later allowed the chopper to recover the body just as TACR were about to mobilise a stretcher party.

1996 - August 13th ( Tuesday)

Early morning callout to carry a person around the Manganui gorge from the skifield with a broken foot? Wind was too high to use the goods lift or a helicopter.

1996 - July 28th (Sunday)

The rescue helicopter from Auckland was diverted to pickup a person with a sprained ankle injury from Holly hut, then on to three more pickups - a damaged knee and two cases of severe ankle injury, all as a result of a snowcraft weekend. Only one TACR member involved.

1995 - April 9th

School party going to Lake dive. Female student slipped and fell from wooden staircase above Kapuni Lodge turnoff. Sustained a broken arm. Called out for stretcher carry. Took three rope lengths to raise stretcher onto track below Kapuni Lodge turnoff.

1995 - March 24th

Search for German Tourist. He spent night out, descended west side. TACR team found steps leading down Okahu Gorge, but were stopped from descending as message was relayed from paramedics also in crater area, that person had walked out to Kahui Road.

1994 - April 7th

Two brothers set off for Lake dive via the high level track. One slipped on ice over a small bluff in wooden stepped area. Was found calling for help by TACR member returning from summit climb. Injured person had no feeling from waist down. Accident occured about 1:30pm. Helicopter came as light was fading. A ground party arrived and assisted getting injured patient into scoop stretcher and the other into a bauman bag then winched into chopper.

1993 - June 20th

TACR party of three found the body of the missing person above Curtis Ridge ( approx 2090m). Together with two other parties ( total 11 persons), sledged body down in body bag ( marginal conditions) to waiting helicopter below.

1993 June 19th

A party of four summited from the south late in the day. One person fell to his death while descending from the southern crater entrance. TACR party of four found the remaining three in Syme Hut. The body was found the next day. The remaining three were assisted off the mountain along with another group of six.

1993 - May 17th

A person had fallen from the cliff top at Waihi Beach. Search by helicopter revealed a body on a ledge. Two members used a diaper on the end of strops to effect the recovery.

1991 - 13th December

Austrian Tourist was found late at night on Northern side of mountain and rescued by Beck Helicopters. A team of four South side members called.

1991 - February 12th

Search for two Israeli Tourists. Team of four found missing party at Syme hut. They had taken a slide on Sunday after attempting to get to the summit. Whiteout conditions with extreme wind. They were assisted down to Dawson falls next day using two ropes - very icy over False Top.

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