Police use compass and map to find trampers

  • 05/12/2015
Police use compass and map to find trampers

Police used a good old fashioned map and compass to work out where a group of lost trampers were in the Tasman region.

The group of four trampers spent an unplanned night in the bush after they strayed off the Boulder Lake Track near Takaka and became lost, says Senior Constable David Cogger.

They had plenty of food but it took police, who were in touch with them by text messages, a long time to actually work out where they were and it took two attempts to direct them back to the track by 7.45am today.

The group had a new GPS and it appeared they weren't familiar with all of its functions.

They sent a message at 3pm yesterday that they were lost and attempts to guide them were not successful by 6pm when the Department of Conservation passed responsibility to police and it turned into a full search and rescue operation.

Police are still trying to establish if the group had a map and compass with them.

"A map and a compass would have resolved this and that's how we resolved it. I got a map and compass out and with a pencil and paper worked out the back bearing," Cons Cogger told NZ Newswire.

He said GPS devices and smart phones need to be calibrated on the correct mapping datum and the user must be familiar with their functions.

"Modern technology is a great aid to those venturing into the outdoors, however, a good current map and compass is still an essential part of every party's gear list," he said.