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 Confirming Facts Before Reporting

An EverestNews.com Editorial Comment: Dead men don't make phone calls...  

First off, Zeddy, the Everest climber from Kuwaiti, is "...quiet well and He is in a good spirits..." 

Last year two deaths were reported on the south side of Everest when no climber died. The one death was reported by a web site, the other by a large American news service. Both reports were false.

This year, EverestNews.com received news on the 23rd that a web site reported: "Literally they tell that Zeddy could be dead".  Another site seemed to state Zeddy was in a similar condition. EverestNews.com was concerned and started circling the wagons as we do. We found it very odd that these reports appeared to had been filed before Zeddy had phoned in a dispatch.

Dispatch Six 4/23/01: Hello EverestNews.com readers! As you have noticed, we have made it to ABC. I decided to change its name from ABC to KBC (Kuwaiti Base camp). It has been quite windy and we have one of our member went down due to altitude illness (he is our camera man) we are sure he well recover in time. Zeddy

How could Zeddy be dead and phoning in dispatches?

On days like this, we just want to quit !

Several other "reports" indicated Zeddy in various states and conditions along with days and times when he was moved from place to place. Many of which were incorrect from one to all the details. One report posted on the 26th appeared pretty close!

To make a long story short, Zeddy did have some problems and was bought back to Kathmandu. EverestNews.com was in contact with the expedition the whole time. We decided to hold the news because of all the confusion and we knew the family was not notified.

His friend Martine told EverestNews.com: "I visited Zeddy in the hospital and he is quiet well. His is in a good spirits and should be out in two days. "

Our advise to the journalists, and those playing journalists out there: 

First, please before you report dead climbers, radio/e-mail/call the expedition they are on and ask !

Second, please be careful about reporting rumors. If it is a rumor, and you REALLY have to report it, add that it is a rumor.

Third, be careful about reporting missing climbers. All you do is get all the families worried when most of the time the guy is just out back doing his business. We have had mothers on the phone with for hours crying when their boys were fine. We had to take the phone number off the site because of this. One site, that has now went broke, was famous for reporting missing climbers.

Fourth, it is not unusual for climbers to come off the mountain not feeling well. This is normal, many will descend and come back to climb again in a few days.

These bad reports takes so much of our time. We can't address all of them or we would do nothing else. If is hard to predict who will come back from Everest. We know that every year some climbers will die. The question is always who and how many. But dead men don't make phone calls. Try to be careful and show a little respect to the loved ones out there who care about these people.

Everest 2001

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