Mountaineer Musa Ibrahim and two fellow Indians were rescued yesterday after being trapped for six days at the base camp of the Mount Carstensz Pyramid following conquering the summit.
“Just arrived timika airport… We returned safe…” Musa posted on Facebook after they were airlifted by a helicopter to the township of Timika in Indonesia.
His wife Ummey Sharaban Tahura told The Daily Star he had called her around 6:00am (Bangladesh time) through a messaging app.
From the airport, they would be taken to a hotel in Papua and were likely to go to Bali, she added.
It was the third rescue attempt in as many days as the earlier efforts on Saturday and Sunday were called off due to bad weather.
Musa along with Indian mountaineers Satyarup Siddhanta and Nandita Chandra Shekhar scaled up the summit on June 13 and reached the base camp the same day but remained trapped there due to rough weather.
By scaling up the Carstensz Pyramid, which is located in the Papua province of Indonesia and the highest peak of the Oceania and Australia, Musa has put another feather in his crown as he had earlier conquered the Mount Everest and Kilimanjaro.
He has thanked his well-wishers after his rescue.
In a Facebook status posted at 1:51pm, he thanked, among others, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Bangladesh High Commissioner in Indonesia Maj Gen Azmal Kabir.
Earlier around 5:30am, he sent a text message through a satellite phone to his wife and Mohammed Rafah, chief executive officer of Everest Academy founded by him, saying, “Finally helicopter reached at base camp for rescue. great job.”
Musa, who started the expedition on June 1, waved the Bangladeshi flag at the peak at 11:45am local time on June 13, according to his Facebook post.
The Carstensz Pyramid, locally know as Puncak Jaya, is the highest summit of Mount Jayawijaya or Mount Carstensz and among the Seven Summits-- the top seven peaks in the world. It is 16,024 feet above the sea level.
The Carstensz Pyramid expedition is a part of Musa's Seven Summit mission.
He waved the Bangladeshi flag atop the Everest on May 23, 2010 and atop the Kibo of Kilimanjaro on September 12, 2011.
Soon after completing the Carstensz Pyramid expedition, he took no time to dedicate his newest accomplishment to all Bangladeshis.
“Bangladesh's flag is flying at Mount Carstensz Pyramid… I'm dedicating this climb to all Bangladeshis,” he said in an 18-second video selfie recorded at the peak and later posted on Facebook.
On May 30, Musa left Dhaka for the “Bangladesh-India Friendship” expedition to scale up the Carstensz. He, Satyarup and Nandita were expected to complete the mission by June 18.
After being trapped at the base camp, Musa used a satellite phone and texted Tahura describing his situation. He also mentioned that one of his fellow mountaineers had fallen sick.
The trio had been starving at the base camp as their limited food stock ran out. They survived after finding some leftover food, Tahura told The Daily Star.
A team of rescuers boarding a helicopter from Indian tour operator Cox and Kings were supposed to rescue them on Sunday, but the second day's attempt was also aborted due to bad weather.
AWKWARD SITUATION IN TIMIKA
Asia One, the helicopter company that rescued the trio, yesterday took away their passports demanding additional money for the failed rescue attempts, Musa wrote on Facebook.
His wife Tahura said the situation was yet to be solved as of 3:30pm yesterday when she last contacted her husband through Facebook messenger.
“He is supposed to return to Bangladesh on Wednesday. If the situation does not favour his return, his arrival might be delayed,” she told The Daily Star over phone.
She added her husband was “mentally confident but feeling little tired physically.”