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Body recovery puts skills to test – Cliff RESCUE/RECOVERY

Body recovery puts skills to testBody recovery puts skills to test
Advocate 17 Dec 2005 by Evan Harding

A man’s body has been recovered from a Far North cliff face following a difficult night-time search and rescue operation in bad weather.

A search was launched for the 44 year old man on Wednesday morning after he had been reported missing and his car found at the Cape Reinga carpark.

Searchers found his body at the remote Te Kohatu Point, 6 km southeast of Cape Reinga, at about 3.30pm on Wednesday but it took another eight hours to retrieve it.

The Northland Cliff Rescue team from Whangarei was asked to help recover the body with the assistance of police search and rescue, Dept of Conservation, Te Paki residents and members of the mans family. A tractor and four wheel drive vehicles drove more than two hours in bad weather along muddy tracks and over streams to the top of the cliff at night, Kaitaia police Senior Sergeant Gordon Gunn said.

Once at the site, the cliff rescue team recovered the body from part-way down a sheer 70-meter rock face.

Police say there are no suspicious circumstances in the man’s death. Mr Gunn, who worked for 23 hours on Wednesday, praised the efforts of all those involved in the operation.

“A big bouquet has to be given to the people of Te Paki who put their day aside to help assist a complete stranger,” he said.

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Cliff Rescue called @ 16:15, 4 members responded to Te Paki Station from Whangarei. Approx. 2 1/2 hours from Te Paki station to scene. 20 minute recovery after rigging up. Approx. 6 1/2 hours from scene back to Whangarei Police Station arriving approx. 06:30, home for something to eat (breakfast), shower, change, and off to work. Approx. 36 hour day.