Immagine di copertina
Simon Gautier, the French tourist found dead in Cilento

French tourist died in Cilento: reconstruction of the case

It was found dead the young man Simon Gautier , the French excursionist of 27 years of which traces were lost on August 9 2019 in the Cilento area. His lifeless body was found in a ravine on Sunday 18 August, “in an advanced state of decomposition”.

The dynamics of death and then the management of researches appeared unclear and were the subject of controversy. It is therefore worth doing a reconstruction of the case.

French tourist died, who was Simon

Simon Gautier, French student of 27 years, he was used to traveling alone for hiking and backpacking .

He had lived for two years in Italy, in Rome, where he conducted a research for his thesis in the history of art. The student was an environmentalist and hiker.

The boy spoke Italian well, with unmistakable French pronunciation, but during the last phone call to 118 fails to explain exactly where it is. He manages to speak but is confused and does not remember exactly where he started.

> READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE: the profile of Simon Gautier

turista francese cilento
Simon Gautier

The last, harrowing, call

When he calls for help, Simon is missing, with broken legs and an unbearable pain.

In the records there is a phone call to the 118 , the health emergency response: “Can you help me? I fell into a cliff and broke my legs. I'm dying of evil. “

The phone call is dramatic, because the 27 enne transaplino declares not knowing exactly where to explain finds, nor can it provide latitude and longitude coordinates. “I don't know where I am, can you locate me? I was walking and I fell. I am alone, I don't remember where I started, “he says.

Simon is aware of the seriousness of his condition: “I am dying of evil”, he repeats.

The dialogue with the health worker is excited, the young man tries to remember some details. The only thing that emerges is that the tourist left Policastro. “I wanted to go back to Naples. At the beginning there was a small path, then I lost it and then I fell “.

The phone call ends with the indication to keep the phone switched on to facilitate searches. “Not knowing where he is I try with the carabinieri if they can locate his cell phone, keep the cell phone free”. From that moment on, Simon Gautier no longer has any news.

> READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE: “Help, I'm dying”: the last harrowing call from the French tourist to 118


On the last night of which we have news, Simon would have slept on the beach of Scario and then set off along a path. Research, using drones and dogs, focused on the crevasses in the area of ​​the municipality of San Giovanni a Piro

The investigators, who also arranged sea searches, had available some images of the boy, provided by the surveillance cameras of the Municipality of Policastro Bussentino, where he was the boy before he disappeared

According to the story of the mayor of Policastro, Thursday 8 August, at 16 10 Simon arrived at the Policastro Bussentino train station, then walked towards the port and 16, 44 was located at the mouth of the Bussento river where he bought some water bottles

On the night of Thursday 8 August, Simon slept on Scario beach and turned off his cell phone before going to sleep and turned it back on at 6:30 am , when, presumably, he walked along the path.

The investigations of the rescuers to find Simon Gautier were confined within an area of ​​143 square kilometers between the territories of Policastro, Scario and Punta degli Infreschi, and every effort has proved futile: the boy was found dead

> READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE: The hypotheses on the causes of Simon's death

French tourist dead, the discovery of the body

Il 18 August, nine days after his last call, was identified the body of the French tourist by the men of the mountain rescue in the municipality of San Giovanni a Piro, in the province of Salerno. Then the rescuers recovered the body Monday 19 August.

The body, the investigators confirm, “was in an advanced state of decomposition”: a detail that would confirm the fact that Simon died shortly after the fall. Meanwhile, at the Sapri hospital, the father arrived with his partner and the French consul, also awaiting the mother of the tourist.

Simon is managed to sound the alarm to the carabinieri and to the 118 but, according to a first reconstruction also in following the external examination of the corpse, the 27-year-old in a short time, 40 / 45 minutes, he would die. The cause of the death was the fracture of a leg that would have rescinded the artery: hence the hemorrhage

> READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE: Simon died immediately, the body found decomposing

The controversy over the delay of relief

The investigators reiterate that there was no delay in the rescue: immediately, explain the carabinieri, the area where Simon was later found had been identified .

The Public Prosecutor of Vallo della Lucania, meanwhile, opened an investigation to see if there were actually delays in rescue for the discovery. “It is good to clarify and investigate some aspects concerning rescue operations,” said attorney Antonio Ricci.

The European Association for the single emergency number (Eena) for its part does not linger and points the finger at the Italian aid: “This boy could have been saved if Italy had taken simple measures before “.

This is why it was not possible to geolocate the call to 118

The solution to which Eena technicians refer is Advanced mobile location (Aml), a technology that delimits the geolocalization of calls from a mobile network through a system gps a few meters, at most 50: “The ML is up to four thousand times more accurate than the current systems in use”.

Since at the moment this system has not been activated in Italy, the cell attached to the last call covered an area that was too large. The investigations of the rescuers to find Simon Gautier were confined within an area of ​​143 square kilometers, very rough therefore, between the territories of Policastro, Scario and Punta degli Infreschi, and every effort is it is revealed useless.

Eena points the finger at the delays of rescue: “This boy could have been saved if Italy had taken simple measures before.” Even friends and relatives of Simon accuse: “Mistakes have been made since the beginning. We have so much anger. More could and should have been done. “

The geolocation of mobile phone calls in Italy is still a chimera. And yet, in other European countries, relief efforts move differently: there is a technology that makes it possible to pinpoint the position.

Thirteen States in Europe have already adopted this function: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, United Kingdom. Outside the Old Continent instead: United States, Mexico, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates

Europe has indicated the unique number as a “virtuous practice”, but then it is up to each EU state to adopt it or not. “If it were activated throughout Europe, it would save 7. 500 lives in ten years “, specifies the European Association for the single emergency number.

> READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE: Eeena's complaint: “Simon could be saved with the technologies that Italy does not have”

The pain of family members

The young man's parents learned of the news in the hotel in Policastro where they are staying. With her father, mother and her partner, there is also Juliette, Simon's sister. They were informed by the boy's French friends, who learned about it from a journalist. A team of French psychologists, made available by the embassy, ​​have reached the hotel.

A friend of the French tourist found dead after almost ten days of research he expressed his sorrow in a statement issued to Ansa. Asha is a Danish student who lives in Rome, where she shared an apartment with her friend Simon Gautier .

“I am destroyed, we had the last hope that Simon was still alive,” Asha said immediately after learning of the death of the hiker. “Those are the terrible moments we are experiencing, all his friends, about twenty of whom have come from France”, continued the friend of the French tourist who was found dead in Cilento.

Simon's friends and relatives accuse: “Mistakes have been made since the beginning. We have so much anger. More could and should have been done. “

However, the autopsy will be decreed the exact causes of death

> READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE: The family protests and the pain of the friend of Simon Gautier

Here below all the useful links to deepen the case of the death of Simon Gautier:

Simon's disappearance

The profile of the French tourist

The last call of Simon Gautier to 118 | AUDIO

Comments from relatives after the disappearance

The finding of the body

The controversy over delays of rescue: why didn't the GPS work?


Born in Viterbo in 1992. He has collaborated with national newspapers such as La Repubblica, Left, Radio Vaticana. He has published in Italian, English and French for the Cafébabel magazine. Winner of the “Morrione Award” 2018 in the video-inquiry category. For TPI he is in charge of the News and Inquiry sections, always with a camera in his hand.


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