Mondial Assistance Malaysia - Dramatic mountaineering in Chile

Dramatic mountain expedition in Chile

11/25/2009

  • On 5 November 5 we received a call from a customer whose husband was reported missing during a mountaineering expedition to the Ojos Del Salado Mountains in Chile. We immediately began to organise a search and rescue mission. A special squad of local police and a private Chilean company conducted the search.

    Through our local correspondent in Chile and the Polish embassy there, we kept in constant touch with the search crews. After five days, our correspondent informed us that the insurance sum allotted to the search and rescue operation was almost depleted. He asked us to provide additional funds to continue. We made the decision to provide the additional funds and extended the search for another three days. We agreed to include a helicopter service and guaranteed to cover the resulting additional costs.

    Unfortunately, even with the help of a helicopter, the search failed to find our customer’s husband and his fate remains unknown. Due to these circumstances we were forced to make the hard decision to end the search and rescue operation. Later the same month, we received the letter below.

    Dear Mondial Assistance Poland,

    I’d like to give you my most sincere thanks for your help and involvement during the search for my husband. I’d also like to ask you to relay my gratitude to every person that took part in the search operation in Chile.

    This difficult time is easier to withstand, thanks to people like your employees – people who are willing to sacrifice their time and energy and good will, in order to clarify the situation and locate my husband –even though they didn’t even know him. Despite the tragedy our whole family is going through we still reflect on the fact that we live in a world full of goodness, understanding and solidarity.

    With sincere greetings,
    Warsaw, Poland

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