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STORM VICTIMS

TWO YOUTHS KILLED ONE LOST IN THE BUSH EXPOSURE PROVES FATAL BRANCH STRIKES ANOTHER NECK BROKEN BY BLOW [BY TELEGEATH —PBESB ASSOCIATION] MASTER TON. Monday Two Masterton lads lost their lives as the result of Sunday's storm. James Wilson, aged 15, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Wilson, of Waingawn, left lus home in company with five other youths on Saturday afternoon on a deer stalking expedition to Stronvar. Three members of tho party, including the deceased, went into the bush on Saturday evening, but soon lost their way in a thick mist which rendered visibility very difficult. The members of the party, who had no food and were poorly clad for the ordeal, decided to spend the night in the bush. Next morning at dawn they started to follow a fence lino in the hope of clearing tho bush, but the heavy storm broke, further adding to the troubles of tho youths. Tho howling gale frequently brought down trees in their path. They battled on feeling rather than seeing their way. Wilson began to show signs of weakness and one of his friends relieved him of his rifle. Fog and Thick Bush Impedes Search The youths had gone some distance, walking about 20 yards behind one another, when they found that Wilson was missing. Shots were fired and calls were repeatedly made but without any response. Two of the youths then retraced their steps to the spot where Wilson had been seen last. The search, which was greatly impeded by the thick bush and the fog. proved fruitless. Thinking that Wilson had succeeded in finding a short cut back to the camp, his companions continued on but couhl not get out and spent another unenviable night in tlu> bush. About 11 a.m. to-day the youths succeeded in making their way out to a sheep station where they secured much needed food. Discovery of Youth's Body Then the missing lads' friends went by motor-car to where they had struck camp on Saturday night, expecting to find Wilson there.

When they found that nothing had been heard of him a search party was organised, and later in the day Wilson's body was found lying in some fern a short distance from where his friends had seen him last.

Wilson, who was clad in a shirt and trousers, and had been wearing sand shoes, apparently had died of exposure on Sunday night. An inquest is to be held. Deceased was employed by the Oppenheiiner Casing Company, Waingawa. Sad Accident to Second Lad

The second victim was Eric Wallace Groves, aged 16, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Groves, of Tinui, who belong to a well-known Wairarapa family. The lad was killed this afternoon when he was helping to cut a b:g branch off a tree which had been damaged by the gale. The branch was cut down, but it rebounded, and the end struck deceased on the side of his head and broke his neck.

Young Groves was a pupil at the j Feilding Agricultural High School and 1 was to have left home to-day to com- j mence his first term. On his own sug- | gestion, however, he remained to help clear up the damage done by the storm. DEATH ON RANGES PALMERSTON TRAMPER COMPANIONS IN PERIL [by telegraph—own correspondent] PALMERSTON NORTH, Monday Six young men battled for their lives on the Tararua Ranges behind Levin all day yesterday, one of them dying from exposure and exhaustion. He was Mr. Ralph Wood, married, an optician, of Manapouri Crescent, Palmerston North. Mr. Wood was one of a party of six who set out shortly after mid-day on Saturday on a week-end excursion to the Te Matawai Hut. on the slopes of the ranges. His companions were:— Messrs. Andrew Fuller (leader), Tom Arlidge, Ralph Dawick, Harold Ramsay and Albert Waters, all of Palmerston North. The hut was reached at S p.m. Duriug the night the storm broke and they decided to return yesterday morning by the route they had taken, but owing to the Ohau River being flooded they had to take an alternative route over Waiopehu. While working over Butcher's Saddle they had a terrifying experience. Tree* uprooted by the wind were falling round them and none expected to get out alive. The track was completely obliterated. When they came out on to Twin Peak, however, the absence of trees removed a great deal of the ; danger, but Wood was seen to be fail- ' tng. Waters was in much the same stare and both had to be assisted along. Wood collapsed and died about six o'clock. The night was spent in sleeping bags in the open. This morning the remainder of the party continued, Arlidge going ahead to get help from Levin. Ho took 11 hours to get out and as soon as he arrived a party was organised, hut the four trampers arrived before :t left. To-morrow a party of -eight experienced tratnpers will leave at 3 a.m. to recover the body of .Mr. Wood, but ;u a track will have to be cut the ex-

pedttion is expected to take two or three da vs.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19360204.2.49

Bibliographic details

STORM VICTIMS, New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXIII, Issue 22334, 4 February 1936

Word Count
858

STORM VICTIMS New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXIII, Issue 22334, 4 February 1936

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