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Injured hiker’s smoke signals sets island on fire

20/06/2012

* Tourist breaks foot while camping on remote island
* Saved after sending out smoke signals from fire
* Smoke signals spark blaze which engulfs island

A Canadian tourist who broke his foot while camping alone on a remote island in Norway has been rescued after sending out smoke signals – but the fire he started then engulfed a large part of the island.

The 25-year-old man, who has not been identified by authorities, spent three days on the remote northern island of Hillesoy after falling and breaking his foot, Nordlys newspaper reported.

The rugged and sparsely populated island has no cell phone coverage so he eventually resorted to lighting a fire to attract the attention of rescuers.

“He lay there for three days waiting to be discovered but on the third day he realised he had to do something himself,” Joran Bugge, who headed the police rescue operation, said.

The plan worked and he was rescued – but not before the fire burned down his tent.

Authorities believed the blaze to have died out.

It took the efforts of two army helicopters and around 20 firefighters to bring the fire under control.

“It’s illegal to start this kind of fire, but in this case the police aren’t going to take any action,” Bugge said.

The Canadian tourist was taken by air ambulance to a hospital in Tromso, where a spokesperson described his injuries as “moderate,” The Local reported.
»Canadian camper rescued in Norway using smoke signals

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