Wakatipu Search and Rescue was established in the early 1980’s. Our objective is to provide search and rescue expertise to the people of the Wakatipu in a professional, timely and competent manner, to rescue, or retrieve the lost, injured, ill or missing and bring them home to their loved ones, and also offer our expertise to assist adjacent LandSAR areas.
Often the only insight into the world of Search and Rescue Teams the general public ever see is a brief glimpse on the news. In reality Search and Rescue goes way beyond these glimpses. It is an extensive emergency service performed by specialists, police and civilian volunteers. When someone is lost, injured, ill or missing the task of locating and extracting them is delegated to Search and Rescue. Each area of Search and Rescue employs techniques specific to the circumstance. The general field of Search and Rescue includes many specialty sub-fields typically determined by the type of terrain the search is conducted over. These include mountain rescue, ground search and rescue, urban search and rescue dogs. Unpaid volunteers offer their skills 24 hours a day, seven days a week, often in extreme weather and testing terrain at no cost to the community or the subject. This can sometimes involve days or weeks at a time. On average Wakatipu Search and Rescue have 20 call outs a year. The terrain and the distances in the Wakatipu presents challenges to the teams in the field and the management groups supporting them. All members train bi-monthly in all aspects of search and rescue and attend search and rescue exercises to keep their skill levels current with best search practice. Wakatipu Search and Rescue is a volunteer organisation and is dependent on donations and fundraising for its revenue and resources to support its incredible team of volunteers.