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German climber rescued from crevasse

12:19 Fri Mar 8 2013
AAP
The rescue operation to save a German tourist injured after falling down a crevasse on Westland's Explorer Glacier is set to resume.
The rescue operation to save a German tourist injured after falling down a crevasse on Westland's Explorer Glacier is set to resume.

A German tourist who spent a cold night down a crevasse on the West Coast's Explorer Glacier with a suspected broken leg and arm has been winched to safety.

Sabine Hellenbrandt, 34, was flown by helicopter to Franz Josef medical centre and then to Christchurch Hospital where she is being treated for her injuries.

Shortly after the accident on Thursday afternoon, her climbing companion, who is also a doctor, climbed down the crevasse to Ms Hellenbrandt and made her safe by securing her to the ice face. He then set off for help.

A rescue team of three arrived in the crevasse arrived about three hours later around 6pm on Thursday to find the woman "very cold and in a lot of pain" and stayed with her overnight, keeping her warm, West Coast search and rescue co-ordinator Sergeant Sean Judd said.

Police described the pair as experienced and well-equipped mountaineers.