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Search resumes for missing tramper in NZ

A break in the bad weather has allowed the search to resume for a 22-year-old Sydney woman feared dead after being swept away by a raging stream on the Milford Track in New Zealand.

 
 

Police said on Wednesday morning no searchers would go into the area during the day with the Clinton River running more than seven times higher than normal.

But they later said a “small window of opportunity arose this afternoon” for a further search of the river.

Police and Search and Rescue have returned to the area where the tramper was swept away.

“We are utilising a southern Lakes helicopter with searchers on board and they will search until dark,” Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley said.

But the weather forecast for Thursday may preclude a planned foot search around the river on Thursday.

The tramper, described by one official as Indonesian, was walking the track with her Australian partner, when she was overwhelmed by the water in Pompolona Creek and swept into the Clinton River late on Monday.

A search by a helicopter on Tuesday failed to find any sign of her.

The Clinton River normally flowed at a level of 0.25m but was flowing at 1.8m on Wednesday, having at 2.2m on Tuesday night.

The missing woman’s family is travelling to New Zealand.

German backpacker Sebastian Keiholz, who was walking with the pair, told Fairfax he knew them as Jessica and Jean, and they were from Sydney.

The two men managed to cross the stream but Jessica got caught on a rock in the middle and panicked and fell. She was swept away.

Mr Keiholz activated an emergency locator beacon and ran to the nearest hut.

Police have not yet confirmed the name and nationality of the missing woman.

 
 

 
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