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Simon Gautier: French wanderer found in Italian gorge



  The Frenchman Simon Gautier, 27, who was missing in southern Italy on 9 August 2019

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AFP

Caption

Simon Gautier disappeared on a coastal path towards Naples

In a ravine near Naples the body of a French wanderer was found who had disappeared in Italy after an emergency call 1

0 days ago.

Simon Gautier, 27, asked for help on August 9 and said he fell on a walk in Salerno in southwestern Italy and broke both his legs.

"Help me, I see the sea, but I do not know where I am," he told the authorities.

Mr. Gautier was found on Sunday after rescuers searched the area with binoculars and found his backpack.

His family criticized the local authorities for stating that the organization of search and rescue operations had taken too long.

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Getty Images

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Alpine rescuers plan to rescue Mr. Gautier from a ravine in Italy

It is not clear why Mr. Gautier's mobile phone could not be located using a GPS location system.

traces of blood on the footpath

Mr. Gautier walked alone near the coast in the Belvedere di Ciolandrea in the municipality of San Giovanni a Piro towards the southern Italian city of Naples, when he disappeared.

In an emergency call on the morning of August 9, Mr. Gautier said he had broken his legs after falling into a ravine "in the middle of nowhere", adding that he was "dying of pain".

His family and friends desperately tried to contact him, but were unsuccessful, reported the Italian newspaper La Repubblica (in Italian).

The search for Mr. Gautier was hampered by the area's dangerous terrain – firefighters, detection dogs, drones and helicopters were used to search the cliff area along the sea.

Days later, a member of an alpine rescue team helping with the search discovered Mr. Gautier's backpack near a ravine.

A team sent to the site found small traces of blood on rocks near a footpath. His body, which was later discovered at the bottom of the gorge, was recovered by teams on Monday.


Our Happy Escape from a Cliff in Italy

By Katie Razzall, UK Editor, BBC Newsnight

Two days before Simon Gautier made his emergency call this month, my family and I called, Lost us with friends also on a treacherous hillside over the sea near San Giovanni.

As regular visitors to southern Italy, we hiked many hours in the area. This year, however, we were told a new path – part of a larger network of trails that we understand opened by the Italian authorities – that connected the mountain village of San Giovanni with the sea.

However, what should have been an easy departure to a diner for dinner became a dangerous wait in the dark after we were disoriented by bad signage.

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Getty Images

image caption

The slope and cliff near the village of Scario, where Mr. Gautier died and later died

The path, often steep and winding, was difficult to conquer with numerous loose stones along the way. It was a bad decision, especially with two children in the group and only a few bottles of water.

As the daylight faded, we lost track and had to find it with our telephone torches as we battled through dense forest for uneven terrain. At this point, we decided to stop and ask for help.

We shared a pin of our location with friends who contacted the local Civil Protection Agency (Protezione Civile), and a team started looking for us.

From where we sat in the dark and waited on the slope, we could see the lights of the nearby village of Scario – we could hear people talking and playing a band. It was not until we were rescued that we realized that we were actually sitting on a cliff.


On Sunday, a vigil for Mr. Gautier took place in front of a church in the nearby village of Scario.

19659003] Getty Images

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A Mass is held in front of the Church of the Immaculate in Scario

Mr. Gautier moved to the Italian capital Rome two years ago and wrote an art-historical work.

His family requested an investigation to determine the cause of death and determine if this could have been prevented.


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