Iceland Space Agency joins search for Sadpara, foreign climbers

Pakistan foreign minister ensures Chile all-out efforts for locating the Chilean mountaineer

By: News Desk      Published: 12:09 PM, 10 Feb, 2021
Iceland Space Agency joins search for Sadpara, foreign climbers

Vanessa O'Brien, first woman to reach Earth's Highest (Everest) and Lowest Points (Challenger Deep), claimed that Iceland Space Agency will review Synthetic-Aperture Radar (SAR) technology -never before used in search and rescue - to cover every inch of the higher elevations of K2 despite the bad conditions in order to locate the missing climbers. 

Vanessa thanked Pakistan Army pilots for the helicopter flights, who pushed the upper limits during each of these search flights and thanked Pakistan Army Chief and ISPR, and the Foreign Ministers of Iceland, Pakistan and Chile.

Rao Ahmad, Muhammad Ali Sadpara's long-time friend and Sajid Sadpara, Ali Sadpara's son, along with British-American climber, Vanessa O'Brien, who also serves as Pakistan's Goodwill Ambassador and summited K2 with John Snorri, have formed a ‘virtual base camp’ for search-and-rescue effort. 

In a statement shared on her twitter account, Vanessa said, “The families of three missing climbers from Iceland, Chile and Pakistan have decided to proceed with their rescue mission despite four days of gruelling nonstop intensive search-and-rescue coming to a halt due to bad weather.”

It is pertinent to note that John Snorri, Ali Sadpara and Juan Pablo Mohr had joined forces to make a summit bid on K2 — the last eight-thousand-meter peak unclimbed in winter until a team of 10 Nepali summited earlier this year. 

According to Vanessa, “The fact that they have not been found yet could be because they have built an ice cave or shelter, and if they had sufficient fuel to melt water, it could have extended their lifeline, but it depends how low they made it down on the mountain.” 

She claimed, “The good news is for the first time ever, this team are working with the Iceland Space Agency to review SAR technology not SAT technology -never before used in search and rescue - to cover every inch of the higher elevations of this mountain despite the bad conditions. 

“We ask that everyone please realize that there is a lot of work going on in the background tracing department and not to worry if helicopters can fly or not fly - we need somewhere for them to fly to. If the weather is good, yes - they will fly, but multiple flights have not seen any bodies. We are using more sophisticated technology. Please avoid those rumors that talk rubbish." 

“We also have additional data from devices the climbers carried — Garmin, Thuraya, Inmarsat —together with interviews from witnesses, to create a time frame of the climbers' locations during their summit bid,” she said.  

 “Many thanks, too, to Canadian-filmmaker Elia Saikaly for capturing imagery during these search-and-rescue flights, and to (Ret) It Col. Hassan bin Aftab, Director of Operations at Pakistan Analytica, who coordinated overall,” the statement reads,” the statement reads.

Canada’s High Commissioner Wendy Gilmour also said, “ So impressed by tireless efforts of the #K2WinterSummit2021 virtual basecamp, and incredible collaboration of Pakistan and  Iceland: using remote observation and SAR data from Iceland Space Agency will reduce risk to Pakistan air or ground searchers.”

Qureshi talks to Chilean FM

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with his Chilean counterpart Andrés Allamand today regarding the missing Chilean mountaineer Juan Pablo Mohr who was on the K-2 winter expedition.

A foreign Ministry spokesperson said, “The Foreign Minister expressed his deep concern over the missing team of mountaineers and apprised the Chilean Foreign Minister of efforts being made by Pakistan to locate them, including a number of search flights by Pakistan Army Aviation helicopters amid challenging weather conditions over a treacherous terrain.”

He assured the Foreign Minister of Chile that Pakistan would make all possible efforts to trace the missing heroes.

Acknowledging the search and rescue operation, Chilean Foreign Minister Andrés Allamand thanked the Government of Pakistan on behalf of the people of Chile and the family of Mr. Juan Pablo Mohr for assistance in the search operations.

During the call, the two Foreign Ministers also discussed bilateral relations and agreed to remain engaged in future both on bilateral and multilateral fora, the Spokesperson said.