In Bumper Mushroom Year, Searches for Lost Pickers Increase ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: A scene from 'Mushrooming'

The problem starts every late July-August, says Veiko Randlaine of the Eastern Prefecture. People start going missing in the forest and don't come back in the evening.

"This year, since July there have been 29 cases where police have had to search [for missing berry and mushroom gatherers]," he told ERR radio.

In September, which has been a very good month for wild mushrooms, police have had 16 cases and three are still in progress, he said.

Two mushroom gatherers are missing in Ida-Viru County, both over the age of 70. One search is ongoing in Lääne County, he said.

Exact numbers for previous years weren't available but cases have not been in the dozens before.

"Regrettably, it's especially hard to find the older people, as younger people have cell phones and can call 112 which allows their position to be pinpointed on a map display for the call dispatcher," he said.