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Monday 27 February 2017

Irishmen lost on mountain saved by camera flash

Colin Gleeson

TWO Irishmen stranded on a mountain in Turkey after getting lost during a hike were rescued after using the flash on their camera to signal for help.

Stephen White (54) and his son Chris (29) were on holiday in Turkey when they decided to go for a hike along the Lycian Way -- a popular trail leading from the town of Fethiye to Antalya along what was once the coast of ancient Lycia.

After they had walked nearly 4km on Monday night, they lost their way. Stephen began to feel faint as the pair had no water to drink.

Chris, who became anxious about his father's health, called their hotel on his mobile phone to ask for help.

Three different teams, including gendarmes, officials from the Turkish Search and Rescue Society, and locals who know the region well, were dispatched to search for them.

Rescue teams kept in contact with Chris and subsequently advised him to use the flash on his camera to help the teams locate them. Chris then climbed a tree and once he was able to see the rescue teams' torchlight further down the slopes -- he repeatedly used the flash and father and son were found two hours later.

The search took nine hours in total. Stephen, who was unconscious, was put on a stretcher and brought down the mountain before being taken to the Fethiye State Hospital in Mugla where he was treated for severe dehydration as well as minor cuts and bruises.

Chris said afterwards: "We had started to walk on the path around 6pm, but after walking three-and-a-half kilometres, we realised we had gone off course and were lost.

Memory

"My father started to fall ill. He was losing his memory and our water was gone. I called our hotel and asked for help, and eventually the rescue workers found us."

One rescue worker said: "Fortunately it was dark and they were able to signal us with the flash of their camera. We were then able to pinpoint their location. The terrain was very uneven though, so it was a difficult search to carry out in the darkness. It was important to reach them when we did and the father is expected to make a full recovery," he added.

Irish Independent

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