ACR EPIRB saves the day for father and son

19th August 2010

Craig Bunt and his 13-year-old son, Cas, were cold and wet after being snowbound in a tent for 16 hours near the Lewis Pass when they called for help on Tuesday morning. Christchurch's Westpac rescue helicopter turned up an hour later.

News - saves the day father son

Fearing hypothermia, Craig sent the emergency signal from his rental ACR Aqualink PLB. It was received by RCC at 7:47 am and by 8:00am they had received the encoded GPS signal.

"It was really good to see them," said Craig Bunt, of Lincoln. "But it was a hairy ride out in the wind at tree level.

He said they were near the end of a five-day hike from the St James Walkway to the upper Boyle River when the weather packed in on Monday.

"We were totally soaked and cold," he said. "The next morning the weather was worse, so we set off the beacon."

The experienced trampers had walked the route before but were not prepared to be "stuck in a valley with a blizzard".

Rescue helicopter pilot Stuart Farquhar said it was a case where an emergency beacon had saved lives.

- Reporting by Helen Murdoch (The Press)

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