A climber freezing to death on a remote mountainside was saved by a cold call from a telephone marketing company.
Solo Colombian mountaineer Leonardo Diaz became stuck during an Andes climb, only to discover that his mobile phone prepaid minutes were up and he could not call for help.
Diaz survived for 24 hours with his only warmth coming from carefully measured doses of brandy. Then a phone company marketer called him asking if he would like to buy more air time.
According to ABC News, Maria del Pilar Basto, the Bell South operator who called Diaz, said: "We called him to remind him that his phone was out of minutes.
"He said it was the work of an angel, because he was lost in the Andes. We thought it was a joke but he insisted that it was true."
Basto called for help and she and other operators kept ringing Diaz to keep him awake as he tried to ward off hypothermia.
There were fears that the phone's batteries would run out before rescuers found Diaz, but he remembered that putting batteries in the freezer acted as a natural recharger.
"So I took off [the dead] battery and flung it into the snow. After half an hour, it was working again," he said.
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