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October 24, 2013

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Hiker and rescuers stuck on island

A TOURIST and nine rescuers were taken off an uninhabited island yesterday, after being stranded there overnight, Shanghai police said.

Officers reported that a hiker, surnamed Ma, got lost on Bodaozui Island in Shengsi County in neighboring Zhejiang Province on Tuesday afternoon.

Ma, from central Hunan Province, became separated from two companions among the rugged landscape and could not be reached on his mobile phone, said officers.

At nearby Yangshan Port, the Shanghai Port Public Security Bureau was alerted at 6pm.

A nine-strong rescue team was dispatched, and after a two-hour search Ma was located at the foot of a cliff.

But rising tides created dangerous conditions and the team had to abandon an attempt to leave the cliff face.

As there is no lighting on the island, a rescue helicopter could not be scrambled, so the group had to stay on the island overnight.

They built a fire and secured Ma with safety ropes, said police.

Just after 5am yesterday, the group was able to climb the cliff as the tide had ebbed and Ma was rescued at 7:22am.

Police advise hikers not to go to uninhabited islands in the Yangshan Port area as many have tough terrain.

In recent years, adventure trips to undeveloped scenic areas have become popular, but this has brought an increased numbers of deaths and injuries in accidents.

In June, a Shanghai IT engineer hiking alone in unpopulated areas in Hemu of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region went missing and has not been found.

In January, 11 Shanghai tourists had to be rescued after being stranded aboard a fishing boat for two days near Xisha Islands, in the South China Sea.

The boat had broken down, leaving the group at the mercy of a storm.

It emerged later that most of the group had no idea about the condition of the vessel before boarding.

The island was not open to tourists at the time.

And last June, two tourists, including one from Shanghai, died in mountain torrents near Dongsandian Reservoir in Zhejiang Province.

The team leader was swept away while swimming in a rain-swollen river, and another member of the group died trying to rescue him.



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