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Success for new My112 App: Lost hiker found in dense forest
By thinkSPAIN Team Tue, Sep 10, 2019
A NEW mobile phone App linking users to the 112 emergency hotline has turned out to be highly effective – as a recent rescue on the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrims' route has shown.
Firefighters from the Auritz (Burguete) station in the land-locked northern region of Navarra located a lost hiker who, exhausted from going round in circles, was stuck in a very hard to reach forest area near the village of Ibañeta.
But as he had downloaded the App 'My112', emergency services were able to trace his exact location.
They were contacted by SOS Navarra at around 16.22 yesterday (Monday) to say that a walker on the hugely-popular thousand-year-old route had lost his way on the border stage between St-Jean-de-Pie de Port-Orreaga, southern France, and Roncesvalles in Navarra.
The 'pilgrim', from Zaragoza (Aragón), said he had fallen over a few times and twisted his ankle, but by hitting the 'Emergency' icon on My112, the exact coordinates of where he was based were flagged up.
These were given to the fire brigade, so they would know to send out a 4x4 vehicle and take climbing equipment to scramble down the steep hill into the dense forest.
It turned out the lost hiker was still able to walk, so he was redirected onto the NA-2033 highway, which led to Ibañeta town and the Espinal holiday park where he was able to get a bed for the night before continuing the next day.
Along all the pilgrims' routes to the huge, ornate and beautiful cathedral (pictured) in Santiago de Compostela (A Coruña province, Galicia), which is the end point to the ancient trek, cheap walkers' hostels and guest houses are open along the route and do not need to be booked in advance, meaning everyone can find somewhere to stay at the end of each day's hiking.
Whilst attending to the Zaragoza man, the fire brigade was already on site when they were called to help a Colombian walker just over an hour later, who had sprained his ankle.
If the original trekker had not been traced so quickly thanks to the My112 App, emergency services would not have been right on hand to see to the injured man.
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