A mountain-climbing couple was stranded on a mountain in New Zealand and died due to severe weather. They were unable to make it back down because of blizzard conditions.
Nicole Sutton, 29, had sent a series of texts to police in a desperate call for help after realising she was trapped in a snow cave beside her dead boyfriend, 31-year-old Hiroki Ogawa. She held on for as long as she could and sent messages to authorities fearing she would not survive the night.
The couple was trapped near the peak of New Zealand's Mt. Taranaki on the west coast of North Island. The emergency response team knew exactly where the couple was, but they were unable to reach them due to severe weather conditions.
When rescuers finally made it to the couple's location, Ms Sutton was barely alive beside the dead body of her boyfriend. Medics attempted to save the young woman, but she died in the arms of her rescuers.
On Oct. 29, the mountain climbers' bodies were brought down from the mountain. Keith Sutton, the father of the young woman, recalled the series of text messages his daughter sent him when she was struggling for survival.
Mr Sutton sent only one text message as a reply and told his daughter to contact the police and conserve her phone's battery. He said her daughter didn't think she was going to last through the night based on the texts she sent. Mr Sutton said he wasn't expecting anything, but he prepared himself for the worse.
For a moment, there was a sense of hope as rescuers found her at last, but the medics were unable to save her life. According to authorities, rescuers had made several attempts to reach the couple as soon as possible. They learned that the couple buried themselves in a snow cave to stay away from the bitter cold.
Rescuers in helicopters and those on foot were trying to get to the couple's location, but the weather was against them. After the weather improved, rescuers finally reached the snow cave and found the couple waist-deep in snow. Ms Sutton was barely conscious as medics treated her to save her life.
Mr Sutton said he is grateful his daughter had contacted the police to alert them of her location. He understood what happened under the circumstances, and he knew the rescuers did their best.
Ms Sutton and Mr Hiroki had met two years ago. Their friends said they were very much in love. Ms Sutton's parents believed they had plans of getting married.
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