Rescue operation for four troubled trampers in bush

A rescue helicopter has found four trampers in the Ruahine Ranges after a distress beacon was activated. Photo / Michal Klajban, Creative Commons File

A rescue operation is under way near rugged bush in the lower North Island after four trampers got in trouble.

The Hawke’s Bay Rescue Helicopter flew to the Ruahine Ranges after a personal locator beacon was activated at about 1pm on Sunday.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) was co-ordinating the response.

“The rescue helicopter located four trampers and a rescue is currently under way,” an RCCNZ spokeswoman said.

A police spokeswoman said initial reports were that a “party” might be missing or in need of help in the Ruahine Forest Park.

The park straddles the Hawke’s Bay and ManawatÅ«-Whanganui boundary.

According to DoC, the forest park covers nearly 100km from the Taruarau River in the north to the Manawatu Gorge in the south.

The RCCNZ is in charge of land-based missions arising when someone sets off a distress beacon.

The rescue was under way shortly after 4pm.

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