A 25-year-old man was rescued from the top of a volcano thanks to his appeal for help on WhatsApp after he fell and seriously injured himself.

 

Antonio Domingo Taipe climbed the El Misti volcano in southern Peru, near the city of Arequipa in the department of the same name, with several friends during the Easter holiday but became separated from the group during the descent.

 

He slipped on ice near the snow-capped summit, hitting his head and injuring his legs.

 

Antonio was unable to walk and began to panic, but after a few minutes he realised that his mobile phone had a slight signal and could be used to call for help.

 

Wounded and bleeding, Antonio wrote to his friends: "Help me. Please help", and included his GPS location as well as photographs of his injuries. The data was instantly shared across social media networks until the Regional Emergency Operations Centre (COER) in Arequipa reported that the young man had been found by rescue teams.

 

Stranded approximately 5,100 metres (16,732 feet) above sea level, rescue teams took nearly eight hours to reach the injured climber. Posting on social media, the COER reported: "He has been found and stabilised and will soon be transferred to another police rescue unit who will lower him to the foot of the volcano where emergency services are waiting."

 

Hikes to the top of El Misti are common during Easter, especially by young adults who often do so without appropriate clothing and equipment, many of whom become exposed to the icy conditions and high altitude.

CEN
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Author: Lee Bullen

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