Neenah Student Safe After New Zealand Rescue
Erica Klintworth of Neenah (right) and fellow student Alec Brown after rescue.
SOUTHERN ALPS, New Zealand-Two U.S. college students are safe after being trapped nine days in New Zealand's wilderness by a heavy snow storm. Erica Klintworth originally from Neenah and Alec Brown, Both 21, managed to trek back to safety today, meeting up with a rescue team.
The couple survived by rationing their limited supplies of trail mix and other food. They also kept warm by staying in Hot Springs. They planned to hike for a couple of days but heavy rains and snow kept them hunkered down.
The two are being criticized for venturing out with so few supplies. "We were wearing hoodies, and like, just not the type of thing that you want to be wearing and have when you're stuck in a mountain storm. But I think when it came down to it, we were a lot more prepared than everybody thought." Klintworth explained.
But New Zealand Coast and Rescue member, Sgt. Sean Judd sees things differently. "I mean, there's a lot of work gone into this operation. You know, taxpayers' dollars, the use of a helicopter, and obviously, you know, the search and rescue volunteers that we use. A lot of their time's been used up over the weekend, and you know, perhaps needlessly."
The students were on a foreign study program in New Zealand with UW Stevens Point.