Chinese pine nut harvester rescued after drifting 300km in hydrogen balloon

A man named Fu lost control of the balloon as they were working with colleagues in Hailin County, Heilongjiang Province on Sunday. left.

He was not found until 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday, when a rescue team of more than 500 members of the local police and fire department managed to locate his balloon over a national tree after tracking cell phone signals. I found it stuck in the The Global Times reported on Wednesday.

“I almost gave up,” Hu told China’s state broadcaster CCTV. “Thanks to the rescue team, otherwise I wouldn’t be alive.”

Hu told reporters that he was cold and hungry during the ordeal. However, he was described as mostly unharmed, with only minor injuries to his lower back.

Using hydrogen or helium balloons to harvest pine nuts has become more popular in China in recent years, with occasional reports of pickers being wiped out, but usually not as much as Fu.

In 2019, two men picking pine cones in China’s Changbai Mountain reportedly lost control of their balloon and drifted 10 kilometers (6 miles). In another case, a nut picker went missing near the North Korean border in 2017.

Even without out-of-control balloons, pine nut harvesting in China can be a risky business. Traditionally, pickers in spiked shoes climb trees as high as 20 meters (about 65 feet).


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