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Simon Gautier disappeared on August 9 south of Naples, Italy. His friends went looking for him. Heloise GREGOIRE / AFP

Simon Gautier, a 27-year-old Frenchman, has been missing for nine days on a lonely hike south of Naples, Italy. He had been able to call for help, saying he had both legs broken, but he was unable to say exactly where he was just before his cell phone went off.

Rescuers have to compensate with a single clue given by Simon Gautier before his phone falls into the battery bay: he could see the sea.

His family and close friends went to Italy to search for him. From now on, it's a real race against the clock that has started.

#urgent #disparition 1 young French student friend, Simon Gautier is wounded, missing since Thursday evening in Italy in the vicinity of #policastro. His laptop does not work anymore. The authorities are looking for him, to no avail. # Twitter, 1 hand for this msg? #Sapir #Maratea #Scario #Palinuro pic.twitter.com/MBii0dYAlX

Héloïse Grégoire (@HeloKerr) August 13, 2019

A glimmer of hope ?

The research area is spread over a hundred kilometers. A hiking trail on the mountainside, steep and reserved for seasoned people but Simon was not "a burnt head," assure his friends. They were able to find on his computer the route searches he had done before leaving.

However, hope came to Simon's friends on Friday evening, August 16th, when they had no news of the young man for nine days. " We saw exclusive video surveillance footage from the mayor of Policastro, from where Simon left. We see him enter a grocery store so we know he took water, he took food. People tell us that with that, we can survive 15 days, "explains Thomas Masal, a friend of Simon, contacted by phone.

We now know that #SimonGautier had plenty of food and water on him to survive more than 15 days! IT IS ALIVE. WE WILL FIND IT.
PLEASE RT for or #missing friend pic.twitter.com/ClN29w9UWv

Thomas Marsal (@marsal_thomas) August 17, 2019

"We want help to find him"

The 27-year-old therefore has fifteen days of autonomy, but already nine have passed since his accident.

Simon's relatives are asking for more help to be put in place. They consider that Italy has not deployed enough staff.

Counting the police, firefighters and volunteers we are only 30 !!!!! Scandalous

Thomas Marsal (@marsal_thomas) August 16, 2019

" We do not know how many extra reinforcements we have, we do not know where they come from, we do not know who they are, we have not seen them. We are sure that Simon is alive, the only thing we ask for is the help of professionals to find him »

For its part, the Quai d'Orsay ensures to be mobilized daily to find Simon, student in history of art, settled in Rome for two years to work on his thesis.