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ABSAR rescues hiker at Shirley Heights

In a heart-stopping ordeal Sunday night, a hiker was saved from the steep slopes of Shirley Heights thanks to the swift response of Antigua and Barbuda Search and Rescue (ABSAR).

The hiker, a visitor to the island, had embarked on what was meant to be a scenic trek, guided by the supposedly reliable directions of Google Maps. But the app led her astray, veering off the designated path onto a dangerously steep section of the trail.

Once she realized that she was lost, the hiker said she remained calm and reached out for assistance, initiating a call for help that set-in motion a rescue operation. ABSAR, joined by Maurice Belgrave who had received the first emergency call and was in mobile contact with the woman, sprang into action, mobilizing their resources to locate and rescue the stranded hiker.

Navigating through the rugged terrain under the cover of darkness, ABSAR’s skilled team of volunteers set out to the rescue. The hiker did not know where she was and could only try to explain. Following her light and last known position, the team found her in the steep slopes below Shirley Heights.

ABSAR director Jonathan Cornelius was lowered on a rope and the rescue was completed.

Cornelius commented “this is not the first-time people have become stranded in the same place, for the same reasons…. If you are hiking follow the marked trails, if in doubt ask for local guidance” Maurice Belgrave echoed this, saying “google is not Antiguan, never rely on it.”

‘Cornelius has been leading ABSAR for many years; ABSAR doesn’t receive enough credit for the work they do,” said Maurice Belgrave.

The hiker said a big thank you to the team and highlighted the contribution of organizations like ABSAR in ensuring the safety and well-being of all who seek to embrace the beauty of Antigua.

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