Seven days of survival in the valley of Yen Tu mountain

HanoiSlipping and falling into a 40-meter-deep abyss in Yen Tu mountain (Quang Ninh) while going to Mass on April 27, Ms. Lien had to glean wild vegetables, rummage through garbage to find drinking water, and 7 days later she was rescued.

“Until now, I still can’t believe that I can survive a week in that abyss,” shared Nguyen Thi Bich Lien, 59, who has just returned after 7 days stuck under Yen Tu ravine. 4/5, in an apartment building on Tran Huu Duc street, My Dinh 2 ward, Nam Tu Liem district. Her hands, feet and body are still covered with scratches, bruises … traces of the process of slipping down the ravine on April 27.

Ms. Lien said, on April 26, she went to Quang Ninh from Hanoi to pick up Southern medicine and visited a friend, but she did not see it, so the next day she planned to go to a ceremony in Yen Tu. Due to her spontaneous journey, she did not inform her family.

Bich Lien recounted the time she was stuck on Yen Tu mountain for 7 days, at her home on the morning of May 4. Image: Quynh Nguyen

The weather that day was sunny, but at the top, it started to rain and wind. Afraid to go alone, Ms. Lien paired up with a group of about a dozen visitors.

After the ceremony, she went down the mountain, at this time the weather in the area of ​​Dong Pagoda appeared foggy, thin and cold air, due to the influence of the northeast monsoon intensifying. After walking for a few dozen meters, she felt tired, so she sat down on a stone roadside, next to a railing and warning signs. When she got up to continue walking, she tripped and fell about 30 meters into the cliff. The man was stuck in the ravine, his knees caught in the roots of trees, his feet caught in the hollows of rocks and fainted. At that time, she was wearing a raincoat and a long coat (cold-proof life jacket), there was a support tree, so fortunately there was no serious injury. The bag of clothes and the phone fell into the cliff.

“My whole body ached when I woke up, I don’t know if it was evening or early morning, I just saw that it was still morning, I still heard the salesman laughing and talking above,” Ms. Lien recalled.

Seeing the gift bag with a packet of burnt rice and a bottle of water stuck on a tree branch in front of her, she grabbed the vines, reached for the bag, but continued to slip a second time. This time, she fell another 10 meters, stuck in a ravine full of trash. Below is an abyss, Ms. Lien said she did not know how deep, but “throw the bottle down and did not hear the impact”.

Looking to the left, there is a flat stone, about 1.5 m long, next to it is a vertical rock that can block the wind, she clings to a bamboo branch, goes over and calls for help. But the cold rain and strong wind made the cry drown, no one knew. Mrs. Lien said, her throat was hoarse and painful because she called a lot.

The first night she was stuck in a ravine and met with heavy rain, she picked up a plastic bag made into a large patch and wrapped it around her body, covering her head to keep body heat, then knitting the bamboo top into a roof. The shelter has a narrow area, she can only sleep sitting, leaning against the stone to avoid rain and cold. Whenever she saw a human voice, she would cry out for someone to hear, but all in vain. Many times she burst into tears because she missed her children and took care of her family.

Ms. Lien pointed out the bruised and scratched wounds on Ms. Lien's legs and arms after being rescued, on the morning of May 4 at her home.  Photo: Quynh Nguyen

Ms. Lien pointed out the bruised and scratched wounds on her legs and arms after being rescued, on the morning of May 4 at her home. Image: Quynh Nguyen.

After many unsuccessful calls for help, Ms. Lien determined that she might be trapped for many days, so she divided the packet of elderberry into small pieces, each meal with a palm-sized piece and took a sip of water to quench her thirst. But the burnt rice only helped her hold out for two days. From the third day, she broke the bamboo branch to use it as a tool to dig for the passion fruit and picked the fern leaves that grew around the stone to eat. “These are survival knowledge I read in books, newspapers or somewhere, then suddenly remembered,” she said. In order to have water to drink, she rummaged through the trash to find water bottles thrown by tourists, with some remaining inside.

For seven days living in the abyss, Mrs. Lien met with rain, sometimes at noon, she would go out to find vegetables. The limbs are also pale, the skin is wrinkled because of water absorption. The wound on her hands and feet, she chewed and covered with fern leaves, helping to relieve pain.

“Honestly, I’m not afraid of hunger or thirst because here many bottles of water are left unfinished, and there are wild vegetables. At first, I didn’t dare to drink, but after I was so thirsty I had to drink everything,” she said. In addition, she also tried to find a lighter, intending to pick up the burning forest leaves as a signal for help, “but the one is rusty, the other is out of gas”.

“The first few days I tried to keep my mind awake, but on the 5-6th day, I started panicking, worried about dying in the jungle, not being able to see my husband and children’s face for the last time,” Ms. Lien said.

Luck finally came on May 2 when she found a stainless steel kettle while digging through the trash. The 59-year-old woman started knocking and screaming for attention. At more than 9am on May 3, officials of the Management Board of Yen Tu National Park relic site discovered that there was a cry for help. About an hour later, the rescue team rescued Ms. Lien.

“Surviving after 7 days stuck under a ravine is a miracle, the first time it happened in Yen Tu. An ordinary person falls down a cliff, with no broken head or forehead, broken limbs, or even death. The victims I have saved are all seriously injured, with multiple injuries, and Ms. Lien is an exception,” said Nguyen Minh Thuan, an employee of the Yen Tu National Forest and Monuments Management Board.

Mr. Thuan said, on the morning of May 3, when he went to the area about 50 meters from Dong Pagoda to the southwest to check the cleaning work, he heard a cry for help in the abyss. Initially, the location could not be determined, the staff scattered to find. Arriving in a deep area with dangerous signs and fences installed from behind the Dong pagoda along the cliff extending to An Ky Sinh square, he heard the cry more clearly.

Locating, Mr. Thuan and his colleague named Manh dropped the rope to climb down to search. When approaching, the rescue team found Mrs. Lien wearing a raincoat wrapped around her body, wearing a knee-length life jacket inside, the shelter was a solid slab, airtight, quite safe. The victim panicked, exhausted, bruised, bruised, smelly, but mentally alert, he had a cable car ticket and a scene of Yen Tu recorded on April 27.

Many years of experience in rescue and rescue in Yen Tu mountain, Mr. Thuan surmised that Mrs. Lien did not break her leg or arm, possibly because her foot slipped in the prone position and fell down. Hands clung to the tree branch, causing the entire front body to be scratched.

Before the information that the 59-year-old woman went down the cliff by herself, the male lifeguard confirmed that it was impossible for anyone to climb down because the southwest area of ​​​​Dong Pagoda is steep cliffs, blowing by the wind. strong. “People familiar with the terrain like us don’t even dare to climb down, it’s extremely dangerous. If it weren’t for saving lives, I would never have taken the risk. The victim also couldn’t know if there was a seat under the cliff because I looked down from above. see,” he said.

Mr. Le Tien Dung, Head of Yen Tu National Forest and Monuments Management Board, said that the area of ​​Dong Pagoda has dangerous terrain, the rescue team had to use ropes to swing people from above to reach and bring her. Lien up. According to Mr. Dung, from 2010 to now, in addition to Ms. Lien, there have been 5 people who fell into the abyss on Yen Tu. All were seriously injured.

Mrs. Lien was found on the morning of May 3.  Photo: BQLYT

Mrs. Lien was found on the morning of May 3. Image: Management Board

Mr. Hoang Phuc Khanh, 65 years old, Ms. Lien’s husband, said that on April 26, when he arrived in Quang Ninh, his wife still called back, but a day later lost contact. Worried about his wife’s accident, he asked his friends and relatives to go to the hospital to search, but there was no trace. On April 28, he filed a complaint with the Nam Tu Liem district police and shared the information on social networks. “There’s no news for a whole week, I’m desperate. My two daughters are abroad crying all their tears. My family also determines the worst case scenario”, he sighed.

On the morning of May 3, Mr. Khanh received a phone call informing that his wife had just been rescued after a week stuck in the abyss. In the evening of the same day, Ms. Lien was brought home by Yen Tu National Forest and Monuments Management Board.

“My family doesn’t know what to say but thank you. Thanks to the rescue team, my husband and I were reunited, our children were able to meet their mother,” Mr. Khanh said.

After the accident, Ms. Lien advised people when going to Mass to be careful, avoid slippery areas, and limit traveling alone. She also reminded everyone to equip themselves with survival skills and keep a stable mind if the place is in a dangerous situation. Currently, her health is stable, in the next few days, she will go to the hospital for a general check-up.

7 days stuck in the bottom of Yen Tu mountain

Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Lien recounted the days stuck in the bottom of Yen Tu mountain. Video: Van Phu.

Quynh Nguyen


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