Amazon explorer rescued after pitviper snake bite

Close call for Polish explorer

(Press release/Tomasz Jakubiec) The Colombian air force helped to transport a well-known Polish traveler Maciej Tarasin, who two days earlier, was bitten by a venomous snake in the jungle, to the specialists military hospital in Bogota. Termination of his expedition and the evacuation were decided due to the serious life-threatening risk associated with the common lancehead (Polodega-Bothrops atrox) snakebites. Local guide confirmed the snake species.

Maciej Tarasin along with journalist Dominik Szczepanski and their Colombian guide Camilo Matapi traveled by speedboat with the intention of reaching the unique cave paintings in Chiribiquete in the Columbian jungle. The expedition began on December 11th, from Araracuara and continued upstream on the Yari River, then its tributary Masaya, and then the Cunare River. From that point, the participants could only walk through the jungle. They performed preliminary reconnaissance of a rock wall at the river vicinity in search of the first paintings. Further plans were cut short after Maciej’s extremely dangerous accident. They sent out the information about the need for evacuation and immediately they began the return trip.

On Wednesday morning, an air force unit hurried to help them. At midday, after a almost three hours search, they were on board of the helicopter on their way to Bogota.

Maciej was admitted to the hospital, where he underwent extensive testing. The information on his condition will be released later.

Piotr Chmieliński coordinated the rescue operation.

Tomasz Jakubiec

December 23, 2015


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