Body of Taiwanese ‘bikini climber’ retrieved following perilous rescue attempts

The first rescue team hiked for 28 hours to reach Wu, barely sleeping

Photo from FB: Remembering Gigi Wu

Photo from FB: Remembering Gigi Wu

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwanese rescue teams have finally managed to retrieve the body of Gigi Wu (吳季芸), the “bikini climber” who died Jan. 21 after falling into a ravine in central Taiwan during a solo expedition, reports said Wednesday.

Following three failed attempts to reach Wu’s body due to adverse weather conditions over the past two days, her body was fetched and airlifted by a UH-60 Black Hawk operated by the National Airborne Service Corps after the weather cleared today. The helicopter landed in a junior high school in Nantou County around 9 a.m. this morning, reported UDN.

The 36-year-old is believed to have died of hypothermia and she also sustained bruises and bone fractures from the fall, Central News Agency quoted local prosecutor surnamed Li (李). Her family expressed gratitude to the rescue teams but declined to make further comments.

Wu reportedly called for a mountain rescue after the fall on Jan. 20, but was unable to move because of the injuries to her lower body. The first rescue team raced against time and hiked for 28 hours to reach Wu, sleeping for merely three hours during the search, only to discover that she showed no signs of life, reported ETToday.

Lin Cheng-yi (林正宜) from the Nantou County Fire and Rescue Services noted that Wu appeared fully equipped with proper mountain climbing gear and clothing to keep her warm. He suggested the hiker may have slipped walking on a rugged trail.

The incident has since grabbed international media attention with coverage by CNN, BBC, and The Telegraph. The Telegraph reported that Taiwan boasts a spine of mountains with peaks regularly topping 3,000 meters. While Taiwan is a tropical country, temperatures could drop below freezing on the mountain slopes in the winter.