Wonder when two bushwalkers are found alive after 18 DAYS lost in the wilderness after a massive search for land and air
- Two campers went missing for 18 days in the remote wilderness of New Zealand
- Dion Reynolds and Jessica O’Connor went camping in the Kahurangi National Park
- The seasoned wilderness hikers never returned home as expected on May 14
- Reynolds and Mrs. O’Connor were rescued by helicopter on Wednesday
- Drones, tracking dogs, tracking experts and a team of volunteers were brought in
Two campers have survived 18 days lost in the remote wilderness of New Zealand.
Dion Reynolds and Jessica O’Connor, both 23, went camping in Anatori Valley in Kahurangi National Park, South Island, on May 9.
But the seasoned hikers in the wilderness never returned on May 14 when they were expected to return home.
Reynolds and Mrs. O’Connor were rescued by a helicopter on Wednesday around 12.50 p.m. after a weeklong large-scale search.
A spokesman for St John Ambulance said the couple had flown to Nelson Hospital with minor injuries.
They walked photographed and went to the emergency room with blankets over their heads.
Dion Reynolds and Jessica O’Connor, both 23, went camping on May 9 in Kahurangi National Park, on the South Island
The Wednesday morning search began at first light, focusing on the Anatori River and the coastline of Kahurangi National Park, on the South Island
Authorities raised the alarm last Tuesday – five days after the couple were expected to return home.
But heavy rain over the weekend stunted the search, with authorities fearing the pair wouldn’t survive the cold, wet conditions.
Drones, a tracking dog and a heat map of the valley were part of the large-scale search to find Mr. Reynolds and Mrs. O’Connor.
Five specialist investigative experts from across the country were also engaged, while more than 30 police and volunteers worked from different locations.
A Royal NZ Air Force NH90 helicopter was deployed in recent days as the search for campers increased.
Sergeant Malcolm York said the defense flew six teams into the area.
The Wednesday morning search began at first light, focusing on the Anatori River and coastline.
Heather Simpson, who had camped with Mrs. O’Connor and Mr. Reynolds, was one of the last people to see the pair.
“I asked where they went and how long, and they said they went up the river and had 4-6 days [worth] of food that they planned to ration and stretch by fasting as long as possible, to spend longer, “she said Stuff.
Ms. Simpson described them as “young, fit and experienced with good equipment, intelligence and skills.”
Mister Reynolds’ former boss said she ‘buzzed’ after hearing the news.
“We just had a shot of rum [at the bar] to celebrate and we had goosebumps. It’s such a buzz … this morning when I woke up I had a horrible feeling in my stomach because it’s just been a long time. Never lose hope, “she said.
Simona Barnova, Mr. Reynolds’ roommate, said it had been waiting “a tough few weeks” for the pair to be found.
LandSAR NZ director Carl McOnie said a team of volunteers trusted that the pair would be safe because of their wilderness experience.
“You never lose hope and you always have hope,” he said.
Mr. Reynolds and Mrs. O’Connor (pictured) were rescued by a helicopter on Wednesday before being flown to Nelson hospital