Japanese woman dies after 150 giant hornet stings

The Asian Hornet. (AFP)
Updated 06 October 2017
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Japanese woman dies after 150 giant hornet stings

TOKYO: An 87-year-old Japanese woman in a wheelchair has died after being stung 150 times by hundreds of giant hornets, a firefighter said Friday, as the emergency services stood by helplessly.
A swarm of hornets swooped on Chieko Kikuchi as she was on her way back from her care center in western Japan, accompanied by a helper.
The helper called firefighters but they could not reach the woman immediately as the swarm around her was too thick and they had no protective equipment.
After the ordeal, which lasted around 50 minutes, the woman was rushed to hospital but died the following day, the firefighter said.
“It was an unusual operation for us,” he admitted.
The death occurred in mid-September but was only reported on Friday, making headline news on national bulletins.
A forestry agency official said hornets often attack people when their nests are affected.
“To avoid getting stung by hornets, you should keep away from their nests, wear protective jackets and use a wasp killer spray,” the agency official said.
Some 20 people die from hornets stings every year in Japan, according to public broadcaster NHK.


Golden Globe Race seek to rescue injured Indian sailor

The Australian Joint Rescue Co-ordination Center is working hard to assess and coordinate all possible options to rescue Abhilas Tomy. (goldengloberace)
Updated 23 September 2018
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Golden Globe Race seek to rescue injured Indian sailor

  • The Australian Joint Rescue Co-ordination Center is working hard to assess and coordinate all possible options to rescue Abhilas Tomy

PARIS: The organizers of the round-the-world Golden Globe Race said Saturday they were scrambling to rescue missing Indian sailor Abhilash Tomy, but admitted he was “as far from help as you can possibly be.”
Tomy’s yacht Thuriya had its mast broken off when it was rolled in a storm on Friday and the yachtsman suffered what he called “a severe back injury.”
The organizers described him as “incapacitated on his bunk inside his boat” and his yacht is 2,000 miles (3,704 kilometers) off the coast of Perth, Western Australia.
On Saturday, he managed to send a message saying: “Extremely difficult to walk, Might need stretcher, can’t walk, thanks safe inside the boat... Sat phone down.”
The organizers said on the race website: “The Australian Joint Rescue Co-ordination Center is working hard to assess and coordinate all possible options to rescue Abhilas Tomy who is as far from help as you can possibly be.”
Tomy, a 39-year-old commander in the Indian navy, is able to communicate using a YB3 texting unit but his primary satellite phone is damaged.
He has a second satellite phone and a handheld VHF radio packed in an emergency bag, but organizers said he was unable to reach it for the moment.
The organizers said they had urged him to try to get to the bag because it could be crucial in making contact with a plane from Australia and an Indian air force plane which might be able to fly over the area.
Given the distance from land, the planes will not be able to spend long in the area, the organizers added.
A French fishing boat was also heading to the scene “but may not arrive for a few days.”
The Golden Globe Race involves a gruelling 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe in yachts similar to those used in the first race 50 years ago, with no modern technology allowed except the communication equipment.
Tomy’s own yacht is a replica of Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhail, winner of the first Golden Globe Race.