Survived Russian tourist in stable condition

Updated: 2007-09-23 14:19

Hotan, Xinjiang -- Andrey Pautov is in stabel condition after the missing Russian tourist were found alive on Friday evening in northwest China.

Andrey Pautov (C) walks down the helicopter with the help of rescuers upon their arrival at the Hotan airport in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region September 22, 2007.  [Xinhua]

Rescuers has sent the man by helicopter to Regional People's Hospital of Hotan, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, for treatment by Saturday noon.

Initial check-up shows that Pautov's health condition is stable with  blood pressure, pulse and heartbeat in normal range, according to doctors.

He said he had only drunk river water and had not eaten any food in the 25 days since his boat capsized in the river on August 28.

Pautov was found hours after finding the first survivor from a group of six Russians who went missing on a rafting trip a month ago.

During the past days, although Pautov could hear and see the helicopter, but his ground gesture of waving hands was too weak to be seen by rescuers on the helicopter.

At 6 pm Friday, the man saw the helicopter on the opposite band of a river where he was staying around. He tried to swim across the river and walked to the helicopter. Unfortunately, the helicopter took off while he was about 500 meters away.

Pautov was in the sight of ground rescuers at 8 pm, according to Zhang Shaoyun, deputy head of the headquarters. Rescuers enwrapped the man with dry cloths, washed him clean and provided him liquid nutrition before taking him to hospital.

The rescuers informed the rescue headquarters in Hotan by satellite phone, saying the man would be taken to Hotan by helicopter on Saturday as it was too late for the helicopter to fly.

The first survivor Alexander Zverev, 35, was rescued at about 10:30 am Friday on the banks of the upper reaches of the Yurungkax River. He also had only drunk river water and had not eaten any food in the 25 days.

Doctors said Zverev, weighing 58 kg, a full 24 kg less than a month ago, was suffering from dehydration and malnutrition.

Zverev said Sergey Chernik, 47, and Ivan Chernik, 25, who were father and son, fell into the river and drowned on August 24, four days after they started rafting.

He and the remaining three members of the group placed the bodies under one of the catamarans on the river bank but were forced to continue rafting in the other boat after failing to find a way out by land.

However, their boat capsized on August 28. Zverev said two members of the team were engulfed in whirlpools but he managed to swim to the bank and survived. Zverev had thought they were dead - the body of a third man, Vladimir Smetannikov, 25, has already been found.

The rescuers have talked with the two survived men, seeking for further information about Dmitry Tishchenko, the last missing Russian tourist. According to clues from Zverev and Pautov, focus of searching effort is to be carried out at the river's lower reaches.

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