Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Chilean authorities vow to continue searching for missing Russian tourist

In a November 23 statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Chilean authorities would resume searching for 32-year-old Dmitry Sivenkov and two travel companions if rescuers could produce new information about their whereabouts.

In September, Russian national Dmitry Sivenkov joined his two friends, an Italian national and a French national, in Chile for sightseeing and hiking. The group was reported missing on November 8 after they did not return from a hike through the slopes of Villarrica volcano on November 7, Itar Tass reports.

The tourists did not register their intent to scale the 2,500 meter volcano on foot with the proper Chilean agencies. Officials within the national park where Villarrica resides had originally expected the group to return the evening of November 7. They later learned that Sivenkov's party planned to spend the evening in the mountains.

On November 8, Chilean rescue teams began to search for Sivenkov and his friends. For nine days, rescuers combed the immediate areas surrounding the Villarrica and Quetrupillan volcanos, as well as parts of the adjacent Argentine territory. In total, 30,000 hectares of land were searched until Chilean officials notified the Russian embassy in Santiago on November 16 that the rescue operation had been suspended due to worsening weather conditions.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, which has been in contact with Chilean regional authorities since the disappearance, issued a warning to all Russians traveling overseas to register at consular sections of Russian embassies when arriving in foreign countries. The ministry confirmed that it has been communicating regularly with Sivenkov's family and is arranging for Dmitry's father to travel to Chile from Yekaterinburg and meet with those in charge of his son's rescue operation, according to Itar-Tass.