“I fell under the snow as you would fall underwater. Thank God I could reach the handle with my right hand. The airbag kept me afloat and I could ride down unharmed after the avalanche stopped.”
Thomas Kray credits his avalanche airbag backpack for his survival during this avalanche in Tignes, France.
According to ABC News, Kray had hiked up to Petite Balme Peak to ride one of his favorite runs. About halfway down a crack appeared in the surface and he tumbled beneath the snow. The French-Lebanese snowboarder immediately tried to release his avalanche airbag with his left hand, but it slipped. Thankfully was able to deploy the avy bag with a right hand pull and survived the slide.
According to The Associate Press, a 2014 study found that wearing an avalanche airbag improved the chance of survival by 50 percent. I’ll tell you one for sure, if I was getting rowdy in France right now, wearing an avalanche backpack would be absolutely mandatory.
Here’s Kray wearing an avy backpack back in April 2017: