09 February 2010

Chris Gilbertson might like a hand

We had a little drama at lunchtime when Chris Gilberston triggered his SPOT alarm whilst in the middle of Big River.

This caused the monitoring team in USA to call 111 in New Zealand. Who then called Rescue Coordination NZ. They called up a helicopter to go look for Chris.

Fortunately they had his GPS location to home in on.

Unfortunately the helicopter couldn't find him.

Then about an hour after the alarm was triggered Chris pressed the "I'm OK" button - so the Rescue Coordinators call off the helicopter.

I've been watching his tracker and he made very slow progress out of Big River - but he is out.

His latest SPOT's show he made it out to SH7 at Hukarere - but then he headed north, back towards Reefton. He may be doing that on purpose - or he's confused.

If you are near there - or know someone who is - can you go out and have a look?

Here's his latest location...

If you do find him - lets us know on the Kiwi Brevet phone line: 04 973 1531

Thanks, Paul

Update 9:30pm Tuesday: Chris's SPOT tracker is showing him making good speed towards Blackball - it looks like he'll get there about 11pm. He's doing about 16kph and he's about 20km from Blackball.

Update 11:45pm Tuesday: He's in Blackball now.

Update 6:45am Wednesday:  Received this email form Rob Hambrook: I spoke very briefly to the Reefton Police whilst I was in the area today. They said the helicopter pilot had spoken to Chris at Big River ( I assume somewhere around the hut) and he was okay. What ever that means. I'm assuming good enough to get himself out of the the Big River area.

[I forgot to mention yesterday that the SPOTs showed Jo Holden - who is a highly experienced Search and Rescue person - caught up to Chris soon after he triggered his "Help" button.]