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Locals come to aid of couple stuck in remote area of central Taiwan

Pair misled by satellite navigation, drove deeper into mountains until road became muddy

(Ren'ai Precinct photo)

(Ren'ai Precinct photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A young couple’s plan to watch the sunrise on the mountain of Hehuanshan Tuesday (Sept. 21) was thrown in disarray when they were led to the middle of nowhere by satellite navigation and their car got stuck, but they were heartened by the help they received.

A Miaoli County man surnamed Lai (賴), 28, was taking his girlfriend from Lushan Hot Spring to Wuling on Hehuanshan to catch the sunrise during the Mid-Autumn Festival, CNA reported. However, the navigation system directed them to take an industrial road off Provincial Highway 14.

Believing that the instructions could not be wrong, Lai followed them and drove deeper and deeper into the mountains until the road was too narrow and muddy to continue driving. With their car stuck in a remote area and with nothing else they could do, the couple called the police for help.

The Nantou County Police Bureau’s Ren'ai Precinct said Wednesday (Sept. 22) that they had received the call early the previous day.

When the officers responding to the call arrived at the scene, they found that Lai's car was stuck on a slope, and the road was wet and slippery. They felt that even with a tow truck, it would be hard to get the car out.

Therefore, the officers enlisted the help of two locals, surnamed Huang (黃) and Shen (沈), who came with a four-wheel-drive SUV, which they were able to use to pull the car out of the mud. Lai and his girlfriend were so grateful for the heartwarming help extended by the police and locals that they felt their botched sunrise-viewing trip was somehow worth it, per CNA.

Ren’ai Precinct Chief Chuang Shun-chih (莊順智) said navigation should only be regarded as an aid and not strictly followed if drivers find the road is becoming narrower and going deeper into the mountains. In this case, he recommended that drivers turn back to a main road and then ask for directions.

In the event someone gets lost in a mountainous area, they can help police locate them by telling them the numbers of nearby power poles or by describing other details about the area, Chuang added.