Missing Irish walker safe after ordeal in New Zealand park
AN IRISHWOMAN who was on holiday in New Zealand had a lucky escape after she fell, was knocked unconscious and suffered hypothermia while hiking in one of the country's expansive national parks.
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, located in the north-western region of the country's south island.
Ms Flynn – who is living in Melbourne, Australia – had been enjoying a trek through the park with 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 night.
They set out for an area known as Karamea Bend on Sunday but Ms Flynn became separated from the group.
A massive search and rescue operation was launched after a relative 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.
Police in the nearby region of Nelson said that Ms Flynn had fallen down a ditch and hit her head. She was unconscious for "more than a few hours" before managing to make it to a lodging called the Kobb Valley Hut where the 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."