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Call to intensify search for missing trekkers

April 25 , 2014

Call to intensify search for missing trekkers

Families of missing trekkers have urged the government for more support to ascertain whereabouts of their beloved ones.

Speaking at a press meet organized by TAAN, families of Aubrey Caroline Sacco, Zisimos Souflas and Matthews Allpress requested government officials, security agencies and travel trade entrepreneurs to intensify search for their missing sons and daughters.

Aubrey is missing since April, 2010 after she checked into Langtang National Park, while Zisimos was last seen in Namche Bazaar on April 23, 2012 and Matthews Allpress has gone missing since November 3, 2013 from the Annapurna Region.

Aubrey’s mother Connie Sacco said that her daughter is missing for the past four years. “We have been coming here to meet concerned stakeholders and urge them to intensify search for my daughter,” Sacco said, adding, “I request the Government of Nepal and security agencies to do the needful so that other trekkers don’t go missing like my daughter.”

Similarly, Margaret Allpress said his son was on solo trek to Dudhpokhari in Lamjung after completing the Annapurna Circuit Trek. “He informed us November 3 from a guesthouse in Sikles that he would be out of contact for 9-10 days heading toward a place called Dudhpokhari and that he would back to catch flight to Sydney on November 14. That was the last time we heard from him,” a tearful Margaret said.

Matthews’ family has conducted land and helicopter searches to find his whereabouts, but to no anvil. They plan to resume search on April 28.

Likewise, Zisimos’ mother Pauline also urged government officials and security agencies to help her find their son. Zisimos has gone missing since April 23, 2012 from Namche Bazaar in the Everest Region. He was heading to the Everest Base Camp.

Devos Rudy, step father of Debbie Maveau, who was found murdered in Langtang in June 2012, was also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, TAAN President Dhamala said all the four trekkers, three missing and one found murdered, were trekking solo. “Nepal’s topography is difficult than other countries. That is why we have been requesting trekkers to take at least one support staff with them,” he said. Dhamala also said TAAN and the government introduced Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) to ascertain whereabouts of trekkers. “We have deep sympathy for the family of missing trekkers,” Dhamala said, adding, “But trekkers shouldn’t head to the mountain without preparation.”

Saying that only trekkers traveling solo has gone missing, Sagar Pandey, general secretary of TAAN, called on the government to bar solo trekkers. “There is no harm taking a support staff with you. It will help keep you safe,” Pandey added.