herald

Wednesday 19 September 2018

US doctor saves Irish trekker in NZ park

AN Irishwoman holidaying in New Zealand had a lucky escape after she fell, was knocked unconscious and suffered hypothermia while hiking in an expansive national park.

Siobhan Flynn (35) survived only after she managed to find an American doctor who was also trekking in the 4,520sq km Kahurangi National Park, on the country's south island.

Ms Flynn, who is living in Melbourne, Australia, had been enjoying a trek through the park with five relatives on Sunday before she went missing.

The group had set out at the beginning of the weekend and stayed in the park on Saturday.

They set out for an area known as Karamea Bend on Sunday but Ms Flynn became separated from the group.

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A massive search and rescue operation was launched after a relative made it back out of the park and raised the alarm.

Police issued an appeal as Ms Flynn had minimal equipment and food with her.

However, her family were relieved when she walked out of the park with the American woman on Monday evening.

A Nelson police spokesman told the Herald that Ms Flynn was understood to have fallen down a ditch and hit her head.

She was unconscious for "more than a few hours" before managing to make it to lodging called the Kobb Valley Hut where the American doctor was staying and she treated Ms Flynn for hypothermia.

A police spokesperson said: "We believe she was unconscious for a very long time. She was very lucky to find the American doctor,"

hnews@herald.ie

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