Hasher thought he would die, Hardip recalls harrowing five-day experience in jungle Featured

Friday, May 25, 2012 - 14:06
by Thasha Jayamanogaran

hardip

Hardip: I slipped down a 10m slope while finding my way out

PETALING JAYA: When Hasher Hardip Singh, 51, found himself lost in the thick jungle at Templer's Park Forest Reserve in scorching heat without food, he faced certain death.



He endured a terrifying five-day ordeal in which he searched endlessly for a way out of the jungle, walking an estimated 60km.



"I had no food and I knew I couldn't go on for long without help. I was confident my fellow Hashers would find me. However finding me alive or dead was my doubt after the third day," said Hardip who survived by just drinking water from the stream with his bare hands.



He spoke to the media yesterday for the first time since he regained consciousness after his harrowing experience that started on May 9.



The para legal assistant, who will be returning to work on Monday, said help almost came on the second day when he waved frantically in vain to get the attention of a passing helicopter.



"On the second and third days, I saw many helicopters during the day. However, the 40-foot huge trees in the thick forest basically shadowed me," he said. He howled for help, but his efforts were wasted.



Hardip, a Hash House Harrier for 30 years, had gone to the unexplored part of Templer's Park to survey a trekking route for a running group.

 He was determined to find his way out the first three days. But on the fourth day, he gave up and sat by a stream, hoping for help as his sugar level had dropped and his vision became blurry. He also sustained injuries from a 10m fall down a slope when it was dark and his mobile phone was useless as there was no signal.



After the fourth day, he couldn't recall what happened until he was rescued the next day by two orang asli and two Hashers, in a dazed condition and holding on to a stone submerged in a stream.



They immediately gave him hot water with sugar with sweet buns and cracked jokes to bring him out of his daze while waiting for help from other Hashers and rescuers.

About 800 Hashers joined the search and rescue effort which ended after 77 hours.



He said while looking for the way out, he saw a cobra, and was bitten by an assortment of insects and bees.



The ordeal has not deterred Hardip from returning to the jungle and he is all geared up for the next run.



"It was a miracle I survived and suffered just two broken ribs," he said.

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