A runaway girl was reunited with her family yesterday after amateur radio operators hit the airwaves to send out an SOS.
The 13-year-old from Changning District in Shanghai, surnamed Chen, took flight with three classmates on Monday after she failed a school maths test. Her father said she was worried her parents would be angry with her.
The family called relatives and friends to look for the girl but Chen was still missing as night fell.
Chen's father is a ham radio enthusiast, so about 8 PM on Monday he spread the word about Chen's disappearance through his home set. Within two hours a search team made up of 20 vehicles and 100 people was hunting for Chen throughout the district.
"Some radio amateurs were waiting by their devices at home, ready to help at any time," the father said.
However, by 3 AM, Chen had still not been found, so some of the searchers decided to stake out the homes of the classmates Chen left school with.
At 6 AM two boys turned up at one of the houses. They said Chen had been playing cards and chatting at a teahouse with them all night long, but had since gone back to school.
Chen's parents went to the school and found Chen inside.
(Shanghai Daily January 31, 2007)