News

Flu saves local trekkers from Nepalese avalanche

Nepal Army personnel helping survivors to an Army helicopter in the Manang district along the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Nepal Army personnel helping survivors to an Army helicopter in the Manang district along the Annapurna Circuit Trek. NEPAL ARMY

HAVING the flu during the holiday of a lifetime to the top of the world has seen five former Byron Bay High School students avoid possible death in the Nepalese avalanche.

So far, a total 43 people have been confirmed dead and 289 people have been rescued since three separate avalanches caused by the tail end of cyclone Hudhud dumped thousands of tonnes of snow and ice on the popular Annapurna Circuit trekking route last Thursday.

Fortunately, Jennifer Healey said, her son Gene and his mates Jai Ranke, Jayden Polidano, Wilbur Pearson and Andre Sbaraini, who were on the trekking route at the time, had sheltered while suffering influenza.

"On the way up the Annapurna Circuit they were held up by flu," she said.

"The boys were two stops away from Manang where the major avalanche occurred."

Travelling together, without a guide or Sherpa, on the well-worn circuit, Mrs Healey said it was lucky the men stuck together.

"They had they flu so they stayed in a hut for two days and if they hadn't have done that, they would have been right in the middle of the avalanche at Manang.

"They were five local lads together in Nepal who all did the HSC together at Byron High in 2012."

This satellite image from NASA shows the remnants of Typhoon Hudhud over India, Nepal and China.
This satellite image from NASA shows the remnants of Typhoon Hudhud over India, Nepal and China.

Mrs Healey said for 48 hours after the avalanches, none of the families knew if the men were dead or alive.

"For two days we didn't know what had happened and whether the boys were dead or alive."

"We didn't know where they were or what was happening."

WHAT'S HOT ONLINE TODAY

  1. Family stunned by drowning of young fitness instructor
  2. Footballer dies after somersault to celebrate goal
  3. Palmer in court over $12 million fund
  4. Man 'shanks' fellow prisoner 18 times
  5. Marlisa Punzalan has won the 2014 X Factor
  6. Man faces rape, sexual assault charges
  7. Seatbelt saves life of a young mother
  8. 'Ungodly scream' as boy, 8, bitten by brown snake
  9. Alert issued before gas worker death
  10. Police 'on notice' in murder case against O'Dempsey

After trying to find out information through the Australian Embassy and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Healey said social media relieved the worry.

"The best information we could find was on the Annapurna Avalanche Facebook site; it was absolutely brilliant.

"Who ever put the Facebook group together is fantastic and that gave us all the updates and as much information and maps as we could get."

Yesterday, all five men made it safely to the city of Pokhara, and Mrs Healey hoped to talk to Gene last night.

"I haven't spoken to Gene yet. He got into Pokhara today and we hope to speak to him via Facebook or on Skype."

Gene Healey.
Gene Healey.

Topics:  avalanche editors picks nepal



He served his country but died a lonely death

BEFORE: A photo of Walter Derrett's grave taken in 1934 and printed in the Northern Star.

One of the saddest stories Tales from the Grave has uncovered

Busy year for busy bees restoring neglected duck pond

From left, Mark Bailey and Derek Goodwin of South Lismore Duck Pond Landcare with the Mayor of Lismore Isaac Smith.

South Lismore Duck Pond wins grant to continue much-needed work

Gen Xers more likely to 'chuck a sickie' to go to the beach

One in 7 Australians are more likely to 'chuck a sickie' to go to the beach.

One in 7 Australian workers have taken advantage of sunny weather

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Northern Rivers gig guide

PIRATE FLAG: The Hussy Hick's latest single is a crowd favourite that echoes a sentiment of political scepticism. Hear Pirate Flag at Tintenbar Upfront, Tintenbar Hall, tomorrow 7.30pm. $20.

What's on this week in local entertainment

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!