Fuming emergency services in New Zealand are considering whether to prosecute a hiker who set off his emergency beacon because he was apparently running late and wanted a helicopter ride to his car.
The man, in his 60s, was hiking in South Westland and set off the beacon on Thursday afternoon.
The helicopter was tied up for two-and-a-half hours, he said.
"That aircraft was unavailable for any other genuine emergency that may have arisen."
Penalties for the misuse of beacons range from a formal warning, infringement notice penalty of $NZ250 and prosecution, which carries a maximum fine of $NZ30,000.
MNZ is considering what action to take over the hiker.
"While the decision to activate a beacon is one that only the person carrying it can make, depending on their circumstances, it is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It is certainly not a taxi service," Mr Clifford said.