Lost off-piste skier says answering his phone was too much of an inconvenience.

Screening your phone calls and not picking up when someone wants to talk doesn’t immediately make you a bad person. Maybe it’s your boss trying to drag you into the office on your day off, or an ex who likes to call you up and discuss getting back together (and always after having had far too many drinks).

Still, it’s generally recommended to answer your phone when the police are calling, especially if you just called them asking for help.

On Monday, a group of seven snowboarders and skiers, including a 37-year-old Polish man, decided to go off-piste (outside of the maintained and patrolled ski course) at Furano Ski Resort (seen in the photos above and below), on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. However, the backcountry alpine sport enthusiasts became lost, and shortly after 3 p.m. the Polish man used his mobile phone to call the police and ask for help. “We are in the woods, about 300 meters (984 feet) from Furano Ski Resort,” he said. “We are lost.”

The police gave the man initial guidance over the phone, but the conversation ended before the group (which consisted of five snowboarders and two skiers) was found, as well as before they found their way back to the resort. When the police called back to talk to the man again, in hopes of better determining his location, the man would hang up before they could ask him any questions. The police made multiple attempts, but each time he would end the call immediately.

Finally, roughly two and a half hours later, five members of the group were spotted inside a store attached to one of the resort’s hotels, at the bottom of the ski courses. When the authorities asked the Polish man they’d spoken to why he kept hanging up on them, he nonchalantly replied “I told the police we could make it back on our own. It was a pain to have to answer the phone.”

The remaining two members of the group also made their way back inside the resort’s boundaries, and parted ways with the other five before they headed to the hotel shop. None of the seven had suffered any injuries during their backcountry excursion. However, the incident came just two days after a pair of Chinese skiers who’d gone outside the course boundaries in the neighboring community of Kami Furanocho also got lost and spent the night in the mountains, requiring a rescue team to come pick them up the next day.

“Skiers are not legally prohibited from going outside the controlled ski areas,” said Yuichi Watanabe, Furano’s deputy police chief. “However, we would like for people…to always let us be able to contact them via their phones”. That seems like a perfectly reasonable request, especially if you’re the one who called in the first place.

Sources: Hokkaido News UHB via Itai News, Yahoo! Japan News/HBC News, FNN Prime
Top image: Wikipedia/E-190
Insert image: Wikipedia/Wakimasa