S'pore couple trapped 22 hours by bad weather on Hokkaido mountain rescued

A couple stranded 22 hours on Hokkaido’s highest mountain, Asahidake, was saved following a search and rescue mission.

Ms Amelda Lim, a Singaporean, and her newlywed Malaysian Husband, Mr Long Ji Yung, both 28, had decided to trek up the 2,291m-tall mountain for their honeymoon on Tuesday (Oct 17).

They were with another elderly Japanese couple, Mr Masahiko Kato, 71, and his wife Yumiko, 65. 

Two hours into their hike, the four were forced to turn back as the winds grew stronger and it started to rain and hail.

The group went off course due to the fog which hindered visibility. 

To make matters worse, they could not see the markers on the ground as the snow was too deep.

The four of them found a cave and decided to seek shelter inside.

It was a wise decision, for had they been exposed to the frigid cold - a reported minus 7 deg C, along with the icy winds - they would have died.

Mr Kato’s phone was the only one with reception, and he made a distress call at 6.35pm on Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning (Oct 18), Ms Lim made a call using Mr Kato’s SIM card after his phone died. 

By then, Mr Long was suffering from mild hypothermia.

The rescue personnel found the four 1.5km south-east of Asahidake's Sugatami ropeway station, about 1,600m above sea level, at about 4.40pm on Wednesday reports The New Paper.

A rescuer said the inclement weather conditions made it impossible to descend the mountain immediately. 

As such, they had to stay on the mountain for another night, before moving the four to Asahikawa Medical University Hospital on Thursday morning (Oct 19). 

Bot Ms Lim and Mr Long will be discharged today (Oct 20), and said they would continue their honeymoon in Japan until they return home at the end of October. 

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