Man Survives Five Days in the Desert

A 56-YEAR-OLD Luumlderitz resident was found by a police helicopter on Tuesday after surviving five days without food in the desolate Tsau Khaeb (Sperrgebiet) National Park.

Andries Niklaaste, an employee of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, said he had dropped off fellow workers at the camp last Friday morning and returned to Luumlderitz to fuel up the government vehicle.

Niklaaste said while driving back to the camp site, the vehicle’s headlights started turning off after he had switched them on when it became dark.

This, Niklaaste added, forced him to drive without headlights, and he eventually lost direction in the park.

His ordeal worsened when the vehicle got stuck in the dunes as he drove into a hole because of the darkness.

“I took a sip of water from the wiper water tank to stay alive,” Niklaaste related, adding that his faith in God kept him alive.

According to Niklaaste, he managed to climb a dune hilltop on Saturday and phoned one of his colleagues at Luumlderitz asking for help.

The colleague only known as Tommy, then informed the local police that Niklaaste had gone missing.

Police reported that Tommy and other colleagues already started to search for Niklaaste since Saturday, but could not locate him.

The police, according to Niklaaste’s wife Maria, then launched a search on Tuesday with a helicopter, and found Niklaaste on Wednesday while he was struggling to climb the dune hilltop again to find cellphone network.

When asked about his health condition, Niklaaste said: “My legs are weak, but I am fine”.

Niklaaste, who was booked off to recover from his ordeal, added that his blood pressure also shot up during the five harrowing days in the desert.

Source : The Namibian