Lost academic rescued

26 November 2012 - 02:29 By POPPY LOUW
Mariepskop mountain, near Hoedspruit.
Mariepskop mountain, near Hoedspruit.

A Polish entomologist who went missing while doing research a week ago was yesterday rescued from the Mariepskop mountain, near Hoedspruit.

Mountain Club of SA search and rescue team spokesman Dean van der Merwe said Pawel Jaloszynski was "unharmed and in good spirits" and was rescued from a deep river valley.

"He had not eaten for six days but managed to make a few jokes," said Van der Merwe.

Jaloszynski, a professor at the University of Wroclaw, in Poland, had arranged a tour to South Africa for himself and three colleagues to collect insect samples.

Van der Merwe said the four were following a poor trail when Jaloszynski lost sight of his colleagues. He sent them an SMS on Sunday afternoon saying he was lost. That was the last time they heard from him.

"He fortunately had a bag with basic camping equipment. He managed to make a fire until Thursday when it was extinguished by a thunderstorm and flash flood."

At least 60 people from various search and rescue teams, and his three colleagues, searched for Jaloszynski from 5am every day since Monday.

Jaloszynski was rescued just after 9am yesterday morning by an air force helicopter from the Hoedspruit base.

The near-sighted Jaloszynski lost his glasses during the week as he tried in vain to swat away a swarm of bees. He sustained bee stings on his arms.

"He was checked by paramedics at the scene and they said he did not have to go to a hospital," said Van der Merwe.