Gorge search taxing
email@example.com Searchers looking for a missing tramper in a remote Wilkin River gorge found the gorge physically unsearchable in places, Wanaka LandSAR spokesman Phil Melchior says.
The unnamed New Zealander, aged in his 40s, has gone missing in river conditions described by Melchior as a ‘‘huge washing machine that cannot be turned off’’.
‘‘The bottom line is we have footprints where he went into the river and have been unable to find any sign of him coming out of the river,’’ Melchior said.
The man was tramping and camping in the Jumboland area of the Wilkin Valley with male relatives.
About 6.30pm on Sunday he decided to take a ‘‘short cut’’ down a short section of the gorge back to his campsite, after a day trip to Lake Lucidus.
He was reported missing later that evening by satellite phone and searches by helicopter and on foot began from first light on Monday.
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