There will come a time in an engineer’s life that he or she will make time for a personal recollection, may it be a weekend alone in the suburbs or even a solo travel abroad. But I suggest take the former – people have to learn a lesson or two from what this Australian man has experienced who risked his life after embarking on an international adventure.
Andrew Gaskell, an engineer who was 25 at the time, decided to trek alone in a remote Malaysian mountain range in October 2016 to “come to some sort of conclusion as to who I am” according to his blog.
“In August 2016, I will be embarking on a journey beginning somewhere in Asia and heading in a generally westward direction for an indefinite period of time,” he wrote. He further said that he wanted to have cultural experiences and climb mountains.
On October 18, the Tasmania native braved Borneo’s elevations alone through the Gunung Mulu National Park, which was planned to be a week-long trek.
However, his family and friends became worried when Gaskell wasn’t able to contact them a few days later he started his journey. He was then declared missing. Tasmania police liaised with Malaysian police during the search.
The authorities responded at the site and followed his trek, only to find the engineer “weak and happy” two weeks after the first day of his suicidal trip. They found him at 12:30 pm at Camp 1 at the park, about 20 metres off a hiking track in the Hidden Valley. That spot is known to have harsh terrain with a network of gorges, steep cliffs and vast limestone caves.
Amazingly, Gaskell was conscious and able to speak when he was found by the rescuers. Although he was remarkably thin, the engineer was safely airlifted to a nearby hospital.
A report from the Malaysian media indicated that after being examined by medical personnel, it was discovered that he also had numerous leeches on his legs. The Borneo Post told that he was emaciated and had “maggots embedded in one leg.”
It is still unsure how Gaskell survived in the absence of help, but emergency crews shared that he had resorted to eating wild ferns from the jungle floor to survive.
On November 2, he took to Facebook and publicly apologized for “the inconvenience and trouble” that he has caused. There, he stated that he did not have permission to be on the trail, and regretted not taking a guide. He promised to follow park rules next time.
No matter, one thing is for sure: he made it alive, and that is what’s important.
Source: Daily Mail