Two walkers survive seven weeks in the wild

6th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

CAYENNE, French Guiana, April 5, 2007 (AFP) - Two walkers missing since mid-February in the jungle of French Guiana, turned up Thursday after having spent seven weeks living off river water, seeds -- and the meat of two turtles.

CAYENNE, French Guiana, April 5, 2007 (AFP) - Two walkers missing since mid-February in the jungle of French Guiana, turned up Thursday after having spent seven weeks living off river water, seeds -- and the meat of two turtles.

Frenchmen Loic Pillois, 34, turned up at the small town of Saul, central Guiana, at 10:00 am (1300 GMT).

He tipped off the authorities that his friend Guilhem Nayral, 34, was about six hours walk away to the south and the emergency services found him and airlifted him to safety four hours later.

"We found him stretched out on the ground, completely exhausted, very thin, dehydrated, but not injured," Martin Andre, deputy commander of the local gendarmerie, told AFP.

"When I took him in my arms, he burst into tears," he added.

Nayral is currently being treated at Cayenne hospital, where a spokesman said he was being treated for extreme fatigue.

Pillois, who arrived a little earlier, was interviewed at the gendarmerie before also being admitted for treatment.

Although he seemed weak, he was strong enough to get out of the helicopter without help. His bearded face was drawn and he wore shorts and a T-shirt with the words "Never stop exploring" printed on it.

The only thing he said was: "It's really hot."

Local officials opened an investigation in the middle of March over their disappearance and about 40 gendarmes searched the jungle for three weeks in March.

The search was scaled down to just eight men towards the end of the month.

They had headed off in the middle of February for the Grand Kanori rapids, on the banks of the river Approuague, in the heart of Guiana.

They had only intended to stay there 10 days but had become lost despite their maps and compasses.

Pillois told the gendarmes that they survived the seven weeks drinking river water, eating seeds and the flesh of two turtles that they had managed to kill.

Pillois' wife told AFP from Toulouse in southwest France that she was never really worried for the pair.

"Five years ago, they had already walked around Saul, with a friend who was an expert in insects.

"He told them that if they got lost in the jungle, they could always eat certain bugs."


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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