Badly injured hiker saved by phone call from irate boss

A phone lying on a rock
The man was unconscious after falling off a cliff in the French Pyrenees (Image credit: Julia Clarke)

A badly injured hiker has been rescued after receiving an irate phone call from his boss wondering why he hadn't shown up for work. The Belgian hiker, aged 42, was hiking in the Pyrenees near Campan in the Occitanie region in the south-west of France when he fell 131 feet and was knocked unconscious.

He reportedly lay undiscovered and unconscious overnight, and it wasn't until his boss phoned him at 8 a.m. the following morning that he woke up. According to an article in the newspaper La Dépêche, the man was able to tell his boss what had happened, and fortunately his employer didn't brush off his story as an excuse, telling him to call emergency services. 

Mountain rescue was then able to assist the injured hiker in using geolocate services on his phone to help them identify his location. When they reached him, he was found to be suffering from hypothermia and multiple fractures.

Hiker looks out over the French Pyrenees

Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. (Image credit: Justin Paget)

Hiking safety

Hikers are reminded of some basic principles of hiking safety that can help if you fall into trouble and are unable to help yourself.

  • Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • If possible, don't hike alone.
  • Bring a first aid kit, extra layers and water on every hike.
  • Carry a two-way satellite communicator in case your phone has no signal.

Falls can happen at any time, even when you're wearing the best hiking boots, but it may be useful to read our article on how not to fall on a hike for some tips on keeping your balance.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.