Motorbiker found in remote area
A first-time participant and long-time fan of the Dakar Rally, 49-year-old motorbiker Pascal Terry was found dead just after 2am Wednesday morning, a certain distance away from the trail used during the event's second day.
reported missing somewhere between Santa Rosa and Puerto Madryn, Argentina. Food and water reserves lay nearby, enough to avoid dehydration; the cause of death remains unclear at present.
Dakar boss Etienne Lavigne gave details regarding the operation launched to find Pascal Terry, a wide effort which resulted in the unfortunate discovery.
"January 4th, Pascal informed the organisation that he had run out of fuel, and had been given some by a fellow competitor," Lavigne explained. "Realizing that he had not moved from the area, the organisation called his Iritrack on two occasions but received no reply. The vehicle in charge of closing the trail attempted to find the driver, in vain."
Lavigne went on to explain that the event's Paris-based headquarters were informed by SARSAT (a satellite system used for search and rescue operations) that Terry had activated his beacon.
However, that information only reached the rally staff in Argentina the following day - an apparent failure in the communications process.
Meanwhile, conflicting reports stated that Terry had appeared, which was obviously not the case.
The country's civil defense forces also failed to locate Terry, as the nature of the search area is particularly difficult to explore due to heavy, tall vegetation which also complicated the helicopter effort. Early in the evening, a national search notice was issued by police.
"Last night, at 2:10am, the team sent by the organisation to the GPS location discovered Pascal's body," Lavigne confirmed. The late sportsman was situated 300 metres away from the trail, in an area which cannot be reached by vehicle.
An autopsy will be completed in the next few days to determine the cause of death; the local authorities are investigating the area where Pascal Terry was found in order to determine the circumstances which led to the tragedy.