Social Media Helps Save the Lives of Travelers in Bali
Not much remains private this day and age, thanks to social media. People use it to keep in touch with long distance family and friends, inform the world about what they had for dinner that day, or even share pictures and videos of their travels.
More recently, social media has taken on another role—like saving the lives of two American travelers exploring the world on the Indonesian island of Bali.
Mikey Lythcott is a world traveler with friends from all parts of the world, who shares his travels with his friends via social media.
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According to CNN, on August 22nd, Lythcott and traveling companion Stacey Eno were driving a scooter in Ubud in Bali when a van passed them as they were going up a hill. After hitting the breaks as normal, the scooter still ended up veering off the roadway and landing in a ravine.
After calling out to each other, they confirmed the other was alive, albeit still injured. Lythcott said he felt like his back was broken and he couldn’t move his left wrist. Eno was also unable to move and felt she was severely hurt.
Lythcott was able to find his cell phone still on him, lucky that it hadn’t been thrown from him in the accident. He logged onto his Facebook account and only posted the words “Help. In danger. Call police.”
Aimee Sparks, a friend from Seattle, saw the post and took it upon herself to help her distressed friend. She called Lythcott via Facebook, when he told her he had no idea where he was, but was able to send a pin drop at her request.
Based on that location information, a friend in Vancouver got in touch with some people she knew in Indonesia. A Los Angeles friend used an online map to discover that Lythcott was likely near a waterfall. Another friend all the way from the Netherlands called the police in Bali.
“A bunch of Mikey's friends were posting phone numbers to call, and I got in touch with a woman named Christine at the consulate, I think. She gave me her email and I sent her screenshots of Mikey's location," said Sparks.
Lythcott then got a call from the consulate from a man named Joe—who said help was coming, but he needed him to help him find him. "I told him there was a hotel near my GPS pin, that I'd be just before that hotel, then my battery died," said Lythcott.
Lythcott said it felt like three or four hours later when he finally heard people on the road. The friends called out to the rescue party and were finally pulled out of the ravine.
After being taken to a nearby hospital, it was discovered that Lythcott had a fractured skull, a broken wrist, and he needed chest tubes inserted to inflate his lungs. Eno fractured her cheekbones, along with her nose and left wrist. Fortunately, they were both lucky enough to still be alive.
"When traveling, you meet so many people with interesting and outstanding things to share. This tragic accident has shown us and reminded how many people we have touched along the way. Yes, without technology and friends we would have not survived. Without the people we met along our adventures we would be much deeper in trouble and less of this magic you give," said Eno.
The power of social media allowed numerous people around the world to band together and help their friends. Without it, no one knows whether these two would still be here today or not.
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