SINGAPORE: More than nine days after an exhaustive search and rescue operation was launched to find the Singaporean who went missing on Mount Everest earlier this month, his wife has confirmed that her husband has yet to be found.
39-year-old Shrinivas Sainis Dattatraya is an experienced climber. He embarked on his Everest expedition in April, intending to conquer the world’s highest peak.
On 19 May, Shrinivas used his satellite phone to contact his wife, Sushma Soma, in Singapore and inform her that he had reached the summit of Mount Everest. However, he expressed concern about his descent, warning her he was unlikely to make it down the mountain.
Shrinivas added that he might be suffering from high-altitude cerebral oedema (HACE), a potentially life-threatening condition caused by exposure to high altitudes.
Shrinivas eventually got separated from his teammates during the descent. While the sherpas who accompanied him managed to return safely, Shrinivas remained missing.
In an Instagram post published yesterday afternoon (27 May), Sushma revealed that Shrinivas had plans to conquer Lhotse – the fourth-highest mountain in the world at 8,516 metres – after his Everest climb. He wanted to be one of the few climbers in Southeast Asia to accomplish this feat and the first Singaporean Indian to do so.
Sharing how focused, rigorous and disciplined her husband was in training for his mountaineering goals while juggling his work as an executive director at Jones Lang LaSalle, Sushma wrote:
“He was 39 – and in his glorious and rich life, he lived fearlessly and to the fullest. He explored the depths of the sea and the scaled the greatest heights of the Earth. And now, Shri is in the mountain, where he felt most at home.
“I am humbled to have witnessed him and all that he stood for. I am incredibly proud of him and feel lucky to have experienced life and death through him.”
The grieving wife also thanked Srinivas’s Sherpa guide Dendi, pointing out that Dendi was her husband’s trustworthy companion in the Himalayas and that the pair shared a mutual bond. Dendi was hospitalized earlier after being injured while trying to save Shrinivas.
In her post, Sushma also thanked the other Sherpas and climbers who ventured to search for Srinivas, as well as family and friends who helped coordinate and execute the search and rescue operation.
Thanking her husband’s company for their support during this period, Sushma thanked the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Singapore High Commission in New Delhi, the Indian High Commission in Singapore, the Singapore Embassy in Beijing, and the governments of Nepal and China for their support, as well.
She wrote: “As we continue to navigate this difficult period, we humbly request for space and privacy to grieve an in time, heal.”