Dubai: The young Indian woman who died after falling from a Ras Al Khaimah mountain on Friday was a long distance runner and seasoned trekker, but possibly passed out due to dehydration after running out of water, member of a trekking group said.
The Indian expat, an engineer by profession and a resident of Dubai, was part a group of eight trekkers who ventured out to the Galila Mountain in Jebel Jais area, said the group member.
The group included her husband, and two other women trekkers , the group member told Gulf News yesterday.
An adventurous woman in her 30s, she had climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the Otter Trail in South Africa and other mountains. She was also a regular runner who had participated in long distance running events like Swindon 10k in the UK.
“We are regular trekkers. This is the first [trekking] of the season that we did. We thought the weather is cooling down and formed a WhatsApp group for this trip,” said their fellow trekker.
Each trekker carried around three to four litres of water and food, including fruits, eggs, breads etc. but their calculations turned out to be wrong, he said.
The group had started hiking the mountain at 6.30am and was exposed to the sun for about eight hours when the victim passed out.
“It was extremely hot. Three of us returned half way. We three were the ones to climb the most. We went up 7km. But, we also couldn’t go to the summit. All of us had sunburns and were dehyrated.” While on the last leg of their descent, the trekkers had become extremely exhausted. “The victim’s husband was very much dehydrated. I gave him the water left with me and some food,” said the group member.
Because they were only 500m away from the start of the trail, he said, they decided to go down to get water and go back to the victim who was behind them. “We called her and asked her to stay where she was. We got the water and went up again. But we couldn’t find her. First, we found her phone on the ground… around 10 metres away we saw her bag and… then we saw her lying unconscious some 50 metres away.”
The fellow trekker said there were no visible external injuries or bleeding apart from some bruises on her back and thighs.
“She was still breathing. We called the ambulance and police immediately. But it took about 45minutes for them to reach the place. They tried to revive her, but they couldn’t. So they called in the helicopter for airlifting her. By the time she was taken inside the helicopter, she had stopped breathing.”
The Galila mountain in the Jebel Jais area. The trekkers had started hiking the mountain at 6.30am and was exposed to the sun for about eight hours when the victim passed out.
The victim was declared dead on arrival at a hospital.
The group member said the victim’s parents and brother have flown down from New Delhi. “We are waiting for the postmortem and other formalities to be done to send her body home.” He said trekkers should take better precautions while hiking in such weather conditions.
“We saw water pipes going up. But we couldn’t see taps. It would have been good if there was any provision for drinking water along the trail which is marked by the authorities.”