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Rescuers assist French student injured during hike in Taiwan's Shei-Pa National Park

Exchange student suffered head injury, knocked unconcious, forced to spend night on mountainside

Rescuers helped the French student with first aid and helped him to safety, Sept. 29. (National Park Police photo)

Rescuers helped the French student with first aid and helped him to safety, Sept. 29. (National Park Police photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A French exchange student hiking in Shei-pa National Park suffered a fall and was knocked unconscious on Thursday (Sept. 28) evening, and spent the night alone on the mountainside.

The student, who is studying at Fu-Jen Catholic University, was hiking alone, hoping to enjoy the scenery of the Guanwu National Recreation Area when he lost his footing on the slippery trail and suffered a serious head injury, reported LTN. He blacked out during his fall and awoke sometime later in the dark of night.

Mindful of the danger of trying to hike at night, he waited until morning before trying to move. The French student was reportedly found by other hikers early Friday (Sept. 29), who contacted rescue personnel to assist him off the mountain, per LTN.

He was safely transported down the mountainside around 9 a.m. and was sent by ambulance to the National Taiwan University’s Chu-Tung Branch Hospital for emergency treatment. He was later transferred to Fu-Jen Catholic University Hospital in New Taipei for follow-up treatment.

According to the student, he only recently arrived in Taiwan in early September and took a bus alone to Guanwu Forest Recreation Area around 4 p.m. on Thursday. While hiking the waterfall trail in the early evening, he slipped and fell down a hillside, striking his head in the process which left a 10 cm laceration across the right side of his face.

When he regained consciousness, it was already past 11 p.m. Due to his injured state and his lack of a cellphone in Taiwan, he had to wait until morning when he was found by tourists.

Local authorities remind visitors to Shei-pa National Park not to hike alone, especially in the evening, and to be mindful of the weather conditions to ensure their safety.