Far North Search & Rescue Inc.


Professional Volunteer Search Team Serving the Far North of New Zealand

About Far North SAR

Are you interested in joining the FNSAR volunteers?

If you’re based in the North and have experience in outdoor pursuits, computing or management, please email   info@fnsar.org.nz  and someone will get back to you.

What kind of searches do you do?

We search for lost or missing people in the bush or urban environments. We also undertake occasional evidence searches for Police or coastal sweeps following maritime accidents. Searches can be for hunters, trampers, runaways, despondents or mentally impaired people. From the elderly right down to young children. We may also be called for assistance in Civil Defence emergencies.

Our most common calls in the summer are for lost or injured hikers or persons lost in coastal waters.

What area does the team cover?

We operate over the whole of the Far North of NZ down to a line drawn roughly east-west through Towai – about 8000 square kilometres. We may also be called to assist teams from Whangarei or (very rarely) Auckland.

When do most of the rescues happen?

Summer is our busiest season. The majority of our calls happen on evenings and weekends, since that is when the largest numbers of people are outdoors. Often calls start in the late afternoon or evening after someone has walked out to get help, or after someone fails to return home.

How long do the calls usually last?

Most of our calls last a few hours. There aren’t very many places in the Far North that are really remote, and most of the accidents tend to be close to the tracks. We do sometimes get searches that last for more than a day, but those cases are not that common.

How often are you out in a storm or out at night?

We are not usually out in a storm for the simple reason that people usually go out into the bush in good weather. The more people are out, the more accidents happen. Of course, sometimes people get lost or hurt just before a storm comes in – and then we go and rescue them in the storm.

By contrast, night rescues happen all the time. Most rescues start at the end of the day and finish in the dark. We are usually called in after family has exhausted their possibilities, just when it’s getting dark. You should expect to do a fair proportion of your searching at night.

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