A Czech national resident of Taiwan is gaining a reputation for tracking down lost hikers after finding the remains of a missing man in the mountains of Nantou County, yesterday, Monday, November 8.
Petr Novotny, who runs the outdoor sports company Beast Runners came to media attention when he joined the search for a missing off-road motorcyclist in the mountains of Hsinchu County in September this year.
In the same month Novotny joined the search for a 60-year-old man named Huang, who went missing while climbing Baigu Mountain in Nantou County September 19. On September 22, Novotny found the remains of Mr Huang at the bottom of a ravine. The outcome of the search prompted Novotny to post a video with the advice to lost hikers to “never go down.”
“NEVER go down in stream or creek if you are lost. All missing persons found in creek never walk out by themself,” Novotny urged in a video he posted to YouTube and in subsequent media interviews.
Yesterday, Novotny found the remains of a man named Yang, who went missing last month after failing to return from a hike to Mt Zaisheng and Mt Nenggao in Nantou County between October 9 and October 11.
Nantou County Fire Bureau and other search and rescue organizations failed to find the missing man after a 10-day search, prompting Yang’s family to post a NT$300,000 reward to anyone who could locate him.
After four attempts with a total of 8 days spent on the search, Novotny found the remains of Mr Yang in the pool of a stream at an altitude of 1,600 meters.
Novotny suspects that Yang was not lost, but had an accident while attempting to cross the stream swollen by rains generated by Typhoon Kompasu October 11.
Novotny told Taiwan English News that he, his wife Eva Lobo, and a friend named Huang checked Yang’s social media, GPS records, and phone signals for clues, and Novotny hiked the whole 3-day 70 kilometer route, concluding that there was no reason for Yang to be lost. “However, he was behind his schedule and the weather got very bad,” Novotny said.
“I stuck on idea of an accident in the creek. However the terrain is difficult and still complicated with strong water. Yesterday was my last try and found him where I expected, Novotny said.
The body is yet to be conclusively identified by DNA, according to media reports, however, clothing and a backpack have been identified as belonging to Yang.
The body is still at the location and rescue personnel are waiting for better weather to facilitate a helicopter extraction, Novotny said.
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