This is the moment a badly injured Israeli tourist records a desperate video from a remote spot on a South American glacier, regarded as one of the coldest in the world, asking rescuers to contact his mother, as he believed he was going to die.
Eitan Shaked, 23, in the end survived, even though he was found suffering from hypothermia, having survived the elements for over 24 hours after injuring himself in an accident on the Ojo del Albino glacier near the city of Ushuaia, located on the island of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego in southern Argentina.
He was rescued when he managed to get a message out via a mobile connection about his accident and a local rescuer saw his message online and raised the alarm, according to local media.
Eitan shared the video, recorded minutes after the accident and in which he asks rescuers to contact his mother, on Instagram.
He wrote alongside the footage: “Those who know me know that I don’t like to philosophize on social networks but this time, unfortunately, I have no choice but to write a little more. Last Wednesday I went for a walk in Ushuaia and fell about 10 metres.
“I waited for rescue for a day, disconnected, without taking food or water and also with my pelvis and elbow broken. When they found me I was on the verge of death from hypothermia.”
After being rescued, Eitan was taken to hospital in Ushuaia, where he was treated for fractures to his pelvis and to one of his arms, having survived in what is widely considered to be one of the coldest places on the planet.
He said: “I don’t understand how I didn’t die.”
A first piece of footage shows him having apparently given up hope at being rescued, with his face bloodied, recording a video in which he asks rescuers in English to contact his mother.
But he did not die and in the end was rescued by the emergency services. Eitan said: “When they found me I was on the verge of death from hypothermia.”
In other footage, a rescue helicopter can be seen reaching his position and after he is placed on a stretcher, he is put in the helicopter, which promptly takes off and takes him to hospital.
Firefighter Federico De La Torre is quoted as saying that the 23-year-old was lucky because at the time of the accident, “the day was very beautiful and the night was not cold” compared to how it usually is.
Eitan thanked his rescuers on social media and praised the medical personnel who are still treating him at the Ushuaia Regional Hospital.
Eitan said: “I left Israel when I finished my military service. There I decided to go around the world, particularly South America. In fact, my dream was to visit Antarctica and Ushuaia, from where I had read a lot of books. But a few days after arriving in Argentina I suffered the accident that I thought would end everything.”
He added: “It’s always fun to rediscover how good the human race is. I’m not proud of what happened to me, but I’m glad it ended up that way. After I got sick with cancer a few years ago, dealing with death up close for the second time in my life is not an easy thing.
“Take care of yourself and be responsible. A piece of advice for all travelers: Fly on your trip, but try not to fly off your trip.”