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Become the prey of the bear and survive
11 days in the forest without food, nine of them literally in the trees, were spent by a married couple in Kamchatka. Fleeing from the bear, they spent the night on the branches, taking turns holding each other so as not to fall from a height directly into the predator's paws.
They drowned in rivers, fleeing from the clubfoot. They could only quench their thirst when they were ferried. All this time we dreamed of a home and food. And they believed that they would come for them.
This picture, taken in the forest at the site of the rescue of a young couple, has probably already flown around all social networks in Kamchatka. The news that the search operation was completed successfully, and the guys were going home, scattered as soon as there was a connection.
“We are returning home. Everything ended well. The boys put the Padzherik on the move, "- a short video message from one of the participants in the search operation brought relief to dozens, if not hundreds, of people worried about the missing.
The fact that the possibilities of the human body are endless, a young couple from Kamchatka, alas, learned from bitter experience. At the same time, Anton and Nina were not ready for severe trials. They only wanted to relax a little in the fresh air and return to the city. But literally everything turned against them.
The usual trip to the Bannye hot springs became a survival test for the "jeepers" -tourists.
Bath springs are one of the largest accumulations of hot mineral springs in Kamchatka and a popular vacation spot for tourists and local residents. It is located in the valley of the Bannaya River, 60 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Thermal water comes from the bowels of the Goryachaya volcano - an extinct volcano. Underground streams are distributed over an area of 1,5 square meters. km and come out in more than 550 springs, among which there are calmly pouring out, bubbling with foam, geysers and even boiling mud pots. The walls of some of the funnels are covered with geyserite stone and thermophilic algae.
For tourists in the valley there are guest houses, a shower room, a bathhouse. At the place of water outlets, baths have been landscaped: a small indoor pool and a large outdoor one with a view of the mountains. Swimming in them is comfortable at any time of the year. In winter, you can alternate jumping into the hot pool with snow baths.
On Sunday, July 4, Anton and Nina planned a small "outing" - to get to the hot springs in a large Mitsubishi Pajero SUV, converted for off-road travel (it is impossible to get there by unprepared cars), to spend the night there and return home. But ... on one of the sections of the "road" the car with all its wheels went under the dirty water standing in a rut. It was not possible to get out of the trap on our own. And the Bannykh themselves were about 18 kilometers away.
“We decided to spend the night in the car as we had no other options. And the next day, if not a single car passes by us, we will go to the springs for help on our own, ”Nina says. “We didn't eat anything in the morning, and in the evening, too. We turned on the GPS, turned on the maps, turned on the navigation and went straight in the direction of Bannykh. "
Leaving a message on the hood of the jeep with a finger: “Let's go to the base, 2 people”, we set off.
We covered the first six and a half kilometers in about two and a half hours, making short halts. Two-thirds of the way remained ahead, and about six hours of travel remained until the saving civilization, but the uninvited fellow traveler confused both the plans and the direction of movement
“We walked 6 kilometers 180 meters (this accuracy was determined by GPS) and we were met by a“ mishak ”(brown bear - Ed.). He walked behind us, and we did not immediately see him. He walked completely silently. The first saw his husband. We first shooed him, he rushed back, but then ran at us. We dashed down the slope, about 200 meters, and got to the river. They climbed a tree there. He almost lifted her husband. I threw a bottle of water at the bear to distract him, and Anton managed to climb a tree. We sat on the branches for two hours. When he tried to climb up to us, we threw a backpack into him with food, which was. As a result, he ate all the food and guarded us for two days. And when we realized that we no longer had the strength to sit on a tree without water and food and that the beast would not leave us alone, we began to scare him away in every possible way. They shouted and threw branches at him, ”Nina recalls.
After sitting in a tree for the first two days, the guys decided to go back to the car, which was 6 kilometers away - there are twice as many Bath springs. When the bear moved away a little, the guys seized the moment, went down to the ground and jumped into the river. The predator rushed after them.
“They jumped into the river, he followed us. They drove him away and wade again. True, I almost drowned there, Anton pulled me out. The bear is behind us. He was a little carried away by the current. Having reached the shore, we again climbed a tree and sat there for two more days. I will tell you all this in a nutshell. I simply don’t have the strength to tell everything, ”says Nina.
The persecution lasted for several days. Not just chasing - hunting. In constant fear for their lives, Anton and Nina moved from tree to tree, overcoming 500 meters a day. The rivers swam across, looking around every second. As a result, it took nine days to overcome the six kilometers, which they spent two and a half hours on the first day. No food at all.
“The first two days we did not eat, did not drink at all. On the third day, when we crossed the river to the other side, only then could we drink a little water. There was nothing with me. The bear ate everything. We returned to the car on July 14th. In the morning we woke up in a tree. All night, like the previous ones, they guarded each other and held them so that no one fell. From this place we had about two kilometers to the car. On the way there was one river and a field. There was no choice how to get to the transport. The bear was gone all night. In the morning he was not found either. Climbed off the tree, and went at your own peril and risk. We crossed the river up to the waist. We were afraid that it would blow, but nothing happened. We went out to the car. As soon as we began to undress we heard the roar of cars. Seeing the cars, I started to hysteria a little and cry with joy, ”the spouses said.
A team of "jeepers" came to the rescue. They independently organized a search operation when it became clear that the guys needed to be rescued. In several cars, they headed for Bannyi in the footsteps of Anton and Nina.
“Yesterday (July 14) I woke up and looked at WhatsApp and again came across an ad about the missing guys. I saw him on a social network a few days earlier, and when I found him again, I realized that the guys had been gone for about eight days and needed to get ready for the trip. The car was ready. We also took extension cords for the cable, quadrocopters and "flew" to Nachiki (a settlement in Kamchatka), where a mobile fish protection post stands (the road to Banny springs leaves from it). From there we turned off-road and drove off. They knew the way. We drove it many times. They even knew approximately where they might be. We drove all the time in the tracks of their car. They were sometimes clearly visible in the mud. We drove up to the river. Footprints went into and out of the river. We continued our journey. And they were found not far from the river. They were inside the car. Just arrived. We walked for 9-11 days in the forest. From what they said, their ears curled up into a tube, ”said Artur, a participant in the rescue operation.
After pulling the car out of the swamp and putting the SUV on the move, we headed home. The guys made an obligatory stop at the post on Nachiki. They passed it on July 4, when they moved to Bannye. On that day, they talked with law enforcement officers and even asked to raise the alarm if in a day they did not get out of the forest. But nothing happened.
“We arrived on 4 July at the post where the fishmongers are stationed on Nachiki. We approached and asked the guys to call the Ministry of Emergency Situations if we did not return in a day. There were "traffic cops" and rybniki. And when they pulled us out and we were returning home, we drove up to them and said: "thank you very much." There was the same fishmonger who accompanied us and unfamiliar young guys, ”- said Nina.
The story could have ended earlier and would have cost Anton and Nina less nerves and forces if the requests of the young people were heard and those who were on duty informed the rescuers. The spouses admit the truth and their oversight - they also did not have to risk their lives if they took care of the connection.
“The first mistake is that we drove on our own in one car. In such trips, you need to go in companies, so that if something happens, there is someone to help. They also did not have any means of communication. Satellite phones can be rented. It costs up to 1000 rubles. Not to mention the fact that they had no weapons in case they encountered bears. Another big mistake was that Anton's father raised the alarm late. All this had to be done earlier and call the rescuers when the guys did not return home at the designated hour. There is also a mobile police station at the turn where they were turning. They should have been warned, ”- Jeeper Arthur, participant in the rescue operation.
However, the last recommendation, by the way, did not work ...
Kamchatka is considered a bearish land. The peninsula is home to about 24 thousand clubfoot. Every year, dozens of predators go out to people in the region. As a rule, they smell from traces of vital activity, garbage dumps, often in search of food they climb into private farmsteads. If the bear shows aggression, they kill him.
In 2020, four cases of bear attacks on humans were recorded in Kamchatka. Two victims died, one managed to survive.