Monday, January 7, 2013

Touched by rescuers - The STAR

I AM writing to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to a group of young undergraduates/post graduates who selflessly rescued me from the brink of death on Nov 25, during a trail excursion to Gunung Nuang in Ulu Langat, Selangor.
On that day, I joined a group of 15 experienced hikers up to Gunung Nuang.
On the way up I had fallen several times owing to the muddy trails caused by the persistent rainfall from preceding days.
We reached the top at about noon and after spending about an hour resting and taking in the view, we made our way down.
As my wife and I were the slowest in the group, two of our friends stayed behind as “sweeper” to ensure that no one was left behind – also the motto for our group known commonly within the trail hiking community as the DDG group – Die Die Go.
An hour-and-a-half later I reached a stretch which was too steep for me to continue on foot, so I sat on the ground and tried to inch my way down using my butt.
Thinking back, I should have turned and climbed down “face in”, a mode advised and preferred even by experienced climbers instead of trying to inch my way sitting down “face out”.
Until now, I still can’t recollect what caused me to roll uncontrollably a few seconds after I sat down. It seemed like eternity.
All I could remember was feeling my body knocking against several large rocks while going down.
My descent was stopped when the side of my head hit a a large rock and due to the impact, I was spun sideways and came to rest next to a tree trunk.
My wife later told me the whole area where I came to a stop, including my body, was splattered with blood. There were three deep cuts on my forehead and the side of my face near my left eye. My spectacle was broken in the fall.
Fortunately for me, a group of about five hiking enthusiasts, including Syed Alif Iskandar Syed Zainal Abidin of UiTM Engineering Faculty, who were strangers to us were right behind.
Like angels from heaven, the group descended towards me in double quick time and did an assessment on me within seconds when I came to a stop.
Days later I could not help by recollect with admiration the tenacity and bravery of these boys.

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