Coroner’s report released into tramper’s death


The death of tramper David Palmer may have been avoided if he had equipped himself with a personal locator beacon, coroner’s findings released yesterday say.

On May 5, last year, Mr Palmer, a Dunedin librarian, left a friend’s house in Oamaru and drove to the Ahuriri Valley, near Omarama with the intention of tramping for the day.

When he had not returned home by May 6, his flatmate contacted police who located his Mazda car at the beginning of the Dingleburn Track.

A search was commenced and after 14 days, and a collective 4500 hours, searching, Omarama Landsat volunteers located the body of missing Dunedin tramper Mr Palmer.

Otago/Southland Coroner David Crerar said he believes Mr Palmer, formerly of Oamaru, slipped, lost his balance, slid and then fell to a creek bed where he died.

Mr Crerar said he would like to draw the public’s attention the availability and advantages of using a Personal Location Beacon.


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