Search for missing trampers intensifies
A lack of clear intentions or ‘‘panic’’ date for a return was hampering efforts to locate two overdue trampers in Kahurangi National Park.
Four days into the rescue operation, extra resources were assisting the search for missing trampers Jessica O’Connor and Dion Reynolds on Friday.
No heat or light sources were found by the Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopter that searched inland from the Anatori River mouth overnight Thursday.
The helicopter would continue to deploy search teams and install more radio repeater stations while searching the Anatori River catchment, police said.
Rescue coordinator Senior Constable Dave Cogger of Nelson Police said items of interest had been identified on Thursday, however he said there was no clear evidence to suggest it was linked to O’Connor or Reynolds at this stage.
Footprints and a historic campsite located near the Webb River yesterday had offered a potential indicator of human presence.
However, Cogger said a search dog had shown little interest in an extinguished fire at the campsite, which indicated that it had not been visited for a number of days.
Footprints found in the vicinity had been tracked but the direction had only indicated they had gone as high as they could on the nearby hilltops but had not progressed further.
‘‘We’re not discounting any clues, but there’s no way of telling if anything belongs to Jess or Dion.’’
The search will continue into the weekend with refreshed field teams.