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Hiker dies on New Taipei mountain trail

Body of 50-year-old man reported missing Saturday evening in Ruifang District found on Sunday afternoon

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New Taipei firefighters searching for missing hiker, Ruifang District, New Taipei, July 9. 

New Taipei firefighters searching for missing hiker, Ruifang District, New Taipei, July 9.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The body of a hiker reported missing on Saturday afternoon (July 8) was found on Sunday (July 9) near a mountain trail in New Taipei’s Ruifang District.

The hiker, a 50-year-old man surnamed Liu (柳), reportedly wandered off the trail in search of water. His body was discovered by a search party around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday and was carried off the mountain, reported UDN.

Liu had traveled from Keelung to hike the Nanzilin Trail with eight companions early Sunday morning. During the hike, he reportedly began to feel unwell and decided to hike back to the trailhead by himself.

The last time anyone saw Liu was around 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, with the last known contact made via smartphone at 4:50 p.m., per UDN.

When the group finished their hike and returned to the trailhead, they were alarmed to find that Liu was not waiting for them as expected. The fire department received a report of a missing person at 6:18 p.m. on Saturday.

A search party of 10 people was dispatched to search for Liu, who was not answering his phone. Despite hiking up the trail and back in the evening, there was no sign of Liu.

The search continued into Sunday, with 30 people joining the search effort. Drones were also employed to help survey the area where Liu was likely to be found.

Finally, hikers found him lying in the forest, and it is speculated that he may have been searching for water. The exact cause of Liu’s death is still under investigation, per LTN.

The head of the New Taipei Fire Department's Sixth Brigade, Luo Yi-tian (羅億田), urged hikers to be aware of the weather, environmental conditions, and their own abilities before starting a hike. Local authorities urged hikers to remain in groups and not to hike alone, especially if a person is suffering from adverse health conditions.

Hikers are warned to pay close attention to their surroundings and to call 119 or 110 as soon as possible if a member of their party becomes lost.