Body of British hiker Stephanie Simpson found in New Zealand national park

Elias Hubbard
February 15, 2020

A thermal-imaging drone, dog teams, helicopter and search teams failed to find any sign of her on Thursday.

Creeks in the area usually rose in the afternoons as the glaciers melted from the sun, creating a stronger current, Kirkwood said.

Simpson's body was found in "close proximity" to the pack, Kirkwood said.

Kirkwood urged people hiking alone to carry a locator beacon or a device that allows their movements to be tracked, and to keep it within reach at all times.

Sergeant Mark Kirkwood from West Coast Search and Rescue said her family were understandably grieving and had asked media to respect their request for privacy during this hard time.

"Police extend their condolences to Stephanie's family at this tragic time", he said.

He said in a statement the search had been extremely challenging because of the rugged terrain.

The death would be referred to the Coroner.

Last week, torrential rain struck the area and caused slips and flooding throughout Southland and Fiordland.

Alpine Cliff Rescue and a specialist canyon search and rescue team were key parts of the search effort.

She had told friends of weekend plans to attempt the challenging four-hour hike to Brewster Hut and then move on to Blue Pools.

This story was first published on the New Zealand Herald and republished with permission.

"She is relatively experienced in outdoor activities and has already completed a number of hikes".

It is believed she headed out to Mt Aspiring National Park after work on Friday and was expected to return on Sunday.

Local media reported that Simpson's parents flew to New Zealand to help with the search.

One, who wished to remain anonymous, thanked those who found her and said she was "a bright light amongst many and will be sadly missed [by] those who knew her".

"It was a normal weekend tramp".

Last year, 600,000 worldwide visitors went hiking in New Zealand, a 34% rise on 2014.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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