KUALA LUMPUR: The search and rescue (SAR) operation for hearing-impaired Malaysian mountaineer Muhammad Hawari Hashim (pic), 33, who was reported missing on Friday (May 19) while making his descent from the summit of Mount Everest, is continuing in crevasses in addition to tracing his mobile phone.
Malaysian Mission Everest 2023 (ME2023) team manager Ayu Wanirah Naharuddin said the SAR operation is being handled by Muhammad Hawari's teammate Tiong Ling Yang (Vincent).
She said that an aerial SAR was carried out on Sunday (May 21) but no traces of humans were found in the climbing area or unusual trails.
"A land SAR in the crevasse area continues to be conducted above Camp 2. Searching in crevasses requires skilled personnel and we have deployed as many skilled personnel as possible in the surrounding area.
"We have found a Gore-Tex jacket containing 'RECCO' belonging to Muhammad Hawari at Camp 2. The Malaysian Embassy in Kathmandu has contacted the Nepal Police for help to trace Muhammad Hawari's iPhone," she told Bernama, here on Monday (May 22).
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On Friday, Muhammad Hawari, one of the participants of the ME2023 mission, was reported missing while descending from Camp 4 after conquering the highest mountain in the world.
The same day (May 19), Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM) Kedah director Lt Col Awang Askandar Ampuan Yaacub, 56, who was also among the ME2023 participants, died after falling while climbing to the peak of Mt Everest.
Meantime, Ayu Wanirah said a group of Sherpas will conduct inspections to find Muhammad Hawari in every tent in Camp 2, 3 and 4 on day.
"Suunto Malaysia (a Finnish company) have told us that they will help track the climber if Hawari saves all his activities in their application. Suunto have also reported this incident to the Finnish authorities to share the data.
"They will try. If the data is not saved we still might not able to find Hawari but will try. Now it is up to Finland police and Suunto HQ side,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ayu Wanirah said efforts to bring down the remains of Awang Askandar from Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu are being actively carried out by ME2023.
She said that the operation to bring down Awang Askandar's body will be handled by herself.
"Six Sherpas will be at Camp 4 by this evening. Tomorrow morning, the body will be brought down to a safe area for the helicopter to perform a 'long line rescue'. After that flown to Kathmandu.
"The embassy (Malaysian Embassy in Kathmandu) is in close contact with me and they will receive the remains in Kathmandu. The weather now is quite cloudy and snowing, hopefully the weather will be good tomorrow," she said.
ME 2023 organised by Kelab Eksplorasi Altitud, which is joined by the expedition leader and former 2016 Everest climber Azim Afif Ishak, started the mission to conquer the world's highest peak on April 2. It is due to end on June 2 and has the support of the government and the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS).- Bernama