The body of an Indian national climber, Nandan Suresh Nadkarni, who had gone missing on September 22 while climbing Gunung Jasar in Cameron Highlands, has been found. Pahang police chief, Datuk Seri Yahaya Othman, confirmed that the body was discovered near Pos Atap, approximately six kilometers from the control post at the foothill of Gunung Jasar. Efforts to retrieve the body initially proved difficult due to the challenging terrain, but it was eventually airlifted by a helicopter from the Ipoh Air Operation Force.
According to the police investigation, Nadkarni had deviated from the original path during his descent from the mountain peak, causing him to lose his way and enter the border of Perak. The search and rescue operation (SAR) involved 101 officers and personnel from various agencies, including the Fire and Rescue Department, the Civil Defence Force, NGOs, Cameron Highlands mountain guides, and the Radio Communication and Recreation Club.
The body has been handed over to Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom Hospital in Cameron Highlands for a post-mortem examination. This examination will help determine the cause of death. A friend of the victim, who had been present during the SAR operation, has been informed and will identify the body. It was discovered that Nadkarni had informed his friend about his plans to climb Gunung Jasar but did not return to the hotel or check out.
Nadkarni, an actuary, checked into the Hikers Sleep Port Guest House in Tanah Rata on September 19 and was scheduled to check out on September 24. He had decided to visit Cameron Highlands before attending a conference in Kuala Lumpur on September 25. Upon inspecting his lodging, it was found that his personal belongings, including his passport, laptop, wallet, and clothes, were still in the room. He had checked in alone.
This tragic incident highlights the risks associated with mountain climbing and the importance of adhering to designated paths and safety guidelines. The challenging terrain and unpredictable nature of the jungle can pose significant dangers to climbers, even experienced ones. The authorities and search and rescue teams involved in this operation demonstrated their dedication and professionalism in carrying out their duties.
It is a somber reminder that outdoor activities, while enjoyable and adventurous, should always be approached with caution and proper preparation. The loss of Nandan Suresh Nadkarni is a tragic event, and our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time. May his soul rest in peace.