Mon, Feb 26, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Man rescued after nine days on a rocky ledge eating nothing but leaves

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

A man was rescued unscathed yesterday after being trapped for nine days on a rock ledge in a mountainous area of Hungye Village (紅葉) in Taitung County.

Chung Chin-fu (鍾錦富), 49, was hungry but otherwise fine, according to his rescuers from the Taitung fire department.

Chung, who works as a ranger for local fruit farmers and hunters, said he fell down a precipice on Feb. 16 while inspecting shelters belonging to his employers and landed unharmed on a rocky ledge about 30m above a ravine from which he was unable to climb either down or up.

Trapped without food or water, Chung said he survived by eating leaves and drinking water dripping down the precipice.

He was boosted by the sound of firecrackers from the nearby Hungye Village on Lunar New Year's Eve, but his hopes of getting through the ordeal faded as the sounds of firecrackers became fewer and further between with the passing of New Year's Day.

Chung said he saw a man walking into the ravine yesterday morning and began to blow his whistle loudly to draw his attention.

The man, a photographer who was in the ravine to to take pictures of the area's natural beauty, saw Chung and quickly alerted police in Hungye Village.

It took rescuers three hours to drop a rope to Chung from the top of the precipice and help him abseil into the ravine and safety.

The rescuers said afterward that Chung had eaten almost all the leaves he could reach from his rocky perch.

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