Lost trekker: I thought I knew my way around

IPOH: Having trekked the hills at the Ulu Chepor Recreational Park in the past, prominent businessman Foo Wan Thot thought he knew the area well.

The founder of the Ipoh chapter of the Hash House Harrier, a group known for its fo­rest and hill-trekking excursions, however got lost in the forest for about 12 hours.

Foo, 80, was reported lost at about 7.55pm on Saturday. He was found safe but in a weak state by the Fire and Rescue Department at 7.35am yesterday.

"I normally make markings on the route whenever I pass through it.

"I've trekked the hill a few times and I thought I knew my way around," he said.

The Federation of Hakka Asso­ciations of Malaysia founder and former Dong Zong chairman said he and his friend trekked up the hill at about 5pm.

"About 45 minutes later, my friend said he was tired and wanted to rest while I continued on.

"After reaching the 300m point, I decided to turn back. Minutes after trekking down, I got lost," he said.

Foo said he had a flashlight and his mobile phone with him.

"I tried to contact my friend at about 7pm but the line was bad," he said.

"By then, my family had called the Fire and Rescue Department to look for me," he added.

Foo said he used his torchlight, hoping to catch the attention of rescuers but to no avail.

"The doctor at the hospital who checked on me said I am okay," he said.

A Fire and Rescue Department spokesman said they had two groups taking shifts to look for him, adding that 27 people were involved in the rescue operation.