Manama: A Saudi young man survived the harsh desert conditions after he was reported lost for six days.
Hosam Al Salmi left Makkah in western Saudi Arabia on Thursday, driving towards the Tabuk Region in the north-western part of the vast kingdom.
The distance of slightly more than 1,000 kilometres should have taken him around 10 hours by car.
However, on Saturday, he phoned his family to inform them that he was stranded after he took a road through the desert and got lost.
He added that he called security authorities to request their assistance and opted to remain on a hilltop and wait for the rescue.
On Monday, he called his family again but only for a few seconds to inform them that he was still lost, Saudi daily Okaz reported on Wednesday.
Social media were alerted about Hosam being stranded in the Tabuk desert and calls were issued to help in the search and rescue efforts.
Aoun Society for Search and Rescue, a volunteer group that helps in locating stranded people, posted details about Hosam’s possible whereabouts after it heard about the case.
“We received information that a stranded man had contacted his family on Monday afternoon suffering from thirst and requesting prompt assistance,” Aoun (Assistance, in Arabic) posted on its Twitter account. “It was determined from his call that he was near Al Maadham village, around 160 kilometres south of Tabuk. The stranded man drives a 2010 green Camry.”
A few hours later, Aoun reported that the car was found and that the efforts were focused on tracking his footsteps.
One of the teams formed by volunteers living in the area eventually succeeded in finding him.
Their leader Nasser Al Dossari said that Hosam was faring well, but was taken to hospital for a full medical check-up.
“We thank all those who contributed in the search and rescue efforts, both official authorities and volunteers. We single out the residents of Al Maadham who succeeded in finding the stranded individual,” Aoun posted.