‘Critically ill’ Malaysian doctor evacuated from Mt Annapurna

With the health condition of the Malaysian climber further deteriorating at the high camp of Mt Annapurna, longline rescuers, who flew from Pokhara to the base camp, had to struggle hard to evacuate the mountaineer since early morning, he said.

According to Guragai, a group of four high-altitude rescuers descended Kin Chin alive to Camp III from an altitude of 7,500 m late Thursday night.

“Earlier, two choppers, which flew from Pokhara this morning, made at least three failed attempts from the base camp to land at Camp III where Kin Chin along with the rescuers was waiting for an urgent evacuation,” Guragai told THT. But, the fourth attempt turned out to be successful, he added.

“Kin Chin who has suffered from severe frostbite is said to be in critical condition,” Guragai quoted the rescuers as saying from Camp III. “It would take at least half an hour more for the rescue flight to land at Mediciti,” he informed.

According to expedition organiser, he was located alive on Thursday morning after a daring aerial search operation when a rescue helicopter piloted by Simrik Air’s senior captain Gurung spotted the climber waving his arms from an altitude of 7,500 m.

Singapore-based senior Anaesthesiologist Kin Chin went missing while descending from the summit point (8,091 m) after his climbing guide, as well as fellow climbers, left him stranded just below the French Couloir at 7,750 m at around 10:00 pm on Tuesday.

“The team, which reached the location at around 5:30 pm, offered Kin Chin medicines, supplemental oxygen and food. The climber has lost his hands and legs to severe frostbite,” Sherpa quoted the rescuers as saying.

The team has brought him down to Camp III late in the night, from where evacuation can be carried out, Sherpa said, adding that helicopters were put on standby in Pokhara to evacuate the climber from 6,500 m.

Earlier, the rescue mission was delayed after Global Rescue, from which Kin Chin purchased the rescue insurance package, remained unresponsive to emergency calls. “Global rescue declined to activate rescue mission on Wednesday,” Captain Gurung said, adding that the mission was activated only Thursday after Kin Chin’s wife called Gurung from Singapore requesting him to search for the climber at any cost.

Kin Chin successfully scaled the summit at around 4:10 pm on Tuesday, along with 32 climbers. But while descending, the climbing guide abandoned his client saying the University of Melbourne alumnus couldn’t descend further due to weakness.

“All 32 climbers have already descended to the base camp,” Sherpa said.

According to the Department of Tourism, Kin Chin had successfully climbed Mt Everest last spring. Kin Chin was also planning to begin his next adventure on Mt Kanchenjunga after returning from Mt Annapurna, Sherpa added.

Mt Annapurna is considered the most deadly 8,000-metre mountain, with one death for every three summits.

According to the Himalaya Database, the death rate stands at 3.91 for Mt Annapurna compared to 1.22 for Mt Everest.