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Experts warn after researcher goes missing in wilderness

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: July 27, 2022 L M S


Lin Xiubing (left) and Wu Lei pose for a photo during a field survey. [Photo/people.cn]

Experts caution against the danger of carrying out field research in uninhabited areas after a scientist went missing and was eventually rescued in the wilderness in Northwest China, CCTV News reported.

Lin Xiubin, a professor of geology at Zhejiang University, got lost while conducting field research in an area featuring Yadan landform in Haixi Mongolian and Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Northwest China's Qinghai province on Saturday evening.

According to Wu Lei, another member of the research team, Lin's mobile phone ran out of power when he headed to the agreed gathering point in Lenghu town after concluding a research mission on the day. After he failed to meet the other members at the scheduled time, Lin set out to search for them, only to lose his way.

After receiving the report that Lin was missing, the local governments sent 20 rescue teams to look for him. More than 90 people and 25 vehicles as well as drones participated in the search efforts.

After 22 hours of continuous search, Lin was found on Monday morning. He was sent to the hospital by helicopter and is in good condition now.

With an average attitude of 2,800 meters, the area where Lin's team carried out research is cold, windy and extremely dry, where the temperature difference between day and night can reach. It looks like the surface of Mars and is popular among enthusiasts of Mars and science fiction.

Scientists said conducting research in the wilderness where natural environments are hostile is full of danger.

"In places where GPS signals are weak, it is easy for one to get lost," Deng Shoujing, a geological scientist, said.

Usually, a geological scientist would only set out for a field research trip after getting a full understanding of local conditions and being equipped with necessary tools and equipment such as satellite phones, oxygen bags and oxygen saturation meters, he said.

Qu Jianli, a postgraduate student of geology at Zhejiang Gongshang University, said in addition to huge temperature difference, researchers also face the danger of being attacked by wild animals at night.

Zhu Yanjie, an expert on wildness survival, said in case someone is lost in the wilderness, they should stay calm and try to conserve energy and wait for rescue using every possible means.

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