Missing British Tourist Rescued in New Zealand
The 30-year old from Hampshire was located in a riverbed by a search helicopter at 8:10 pm local time. Dozens of police officers, search dogs, and infared helicopters had scouted the area near Mt. Luna, where the Esbester had intended to hike.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Esbester was transported to Nelson Hospital, where he is currently being treated for hypothermia. It remains unclear why the hiker disappeared, as he reportedly did not suffer any major injuries.
The large-scale search was executed after a fellow group of hikers discovered Esbester's belongings and gear at a Kahurangi accomodation called the Stone Hut, along with a note detailing his plans to climb Mt. Luna on February 10. When Esbester did not return, the other hikers notified authorities.
Kahurangi Park is very popular among "trampers" (or hikers/campers) for it's scenic terrain and caves. It is the second largest national park in New Zealand.
James Esbester's father, Mark, had even flown in from the UK to help assist with the search – and was on hand in New Zealand when the good news of his son's rescue arrived.
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