Staff of the mountainous Hoang Lien national park in northern Vietnam have rescued an Israeli hiker who ran out of food after four days lost in the jungle.
Burstein Noam, 23, traveled solo from a village to Fansipan mountain on December 9 but could not find his way back. The mountain is an explorers’ attraction at 3,143 meters (10,311 feet), dubbed "the Roof of Indochina."
He decided to call his family and the Israeli embassy in Hanoi for help on December 11 when he had run out of food and it was drizzling at around 3 degrees Celsius, he told the park officials after being rescued.
Managers of the park in Lao Cai Province said they received calls about Noam’s situation from the embassy and local police on that same day.
Nguyen Quang Vinh, director of the park, called an urgent meeting and instructed experienced forest rangers to cooperate with ethnic communities living in the park to look for the tourist, according to Lao Cai Newspaper.
The rescue teams went into the jungle that evening. They used GPS devices to track his phone for coordinates and found that he was deep in the jungle.
The rough terrain took them almost a day to find him.
Noam was in panic and suffered scratches, officials said.
The rescuers gave him food and water and brought him down to the park’s station safely at 9:30 p.m. December 12.
Noam has recovered fully and traveled to Hanoi.
Fansipan attracts foreign and Vietnamese tourists alike, but Lao Cai authorities recently tightened hiking rulesafter a missing person incident that involved an independent group of climbers that had not informed authorities of their trip.
Pham Ngoc Anh, a 20-year-old college student from Hanoi, was missing on the mountain in July last year. Other students in his group said he went along a different path when they stopped for a rest and never came back.
There has not been update about Anh or his body being found.
Lao Cai officials called that a rare case. They said people went missing once in a while around the mountain but would be found in a couple days.