“The last thank you is to Apple [and] their side button five click to emergency services – especially great when your screen is constantly being dripped on.”
A lucky skier has his iPhone to thank after cheating death while on a snowboarding trip in the Alps. The Daily Mail reports London based personal trainer Tim Blakey, 41, was snowboarding off-piste at around 10,000ft elevation when he was suddenly swallowed up by hidden crevasse. Blakey fell 15ft through the 3ft wide opening in the snow.
Landing on a fragile snow bridge, Blakey was in a precarious position that could have given way at any second sending him to depths unknown. Luckily his iPhone was in reach and he remembered that by pressing the on/off button five times on the side of his phone (which was only at 3% battery) would both call emergency services and give his location.
“I had a battery booster in my backpack and had to move very, very carefully to get it off and get it out. I had a 3G connection down there but needed it on long enough for them to locate me. It was 20 minutes before I got hold of the emergency services and they told me not to move.”
After the call, he used his phone to take pictures of the hole he fell through while waiting for rescue. Rescue volunteer Michael Schwarzl, an Austrian, was at the ski resort of Saas-Fee, Switzerland, where he works as a guide when he received the emergency call giving Blakey’s location. Schwarzl assembled a rescue team including a helicopter to ferry them to the spot above Saas-Fee, near Zermatt.
After 45 minutes, Mr Blakey was loaded up and on his way to hospital. A week later he was back home in London, his only injured ligament to an ankle. Schwarzl, a 25 year veteran of mountain rescue, said “He was very lucky to have a phone signal. Three days later, I attended a similar rescue nearby, but the person fell 100ft and died.”
“A week ago to this very minute my appreciation for life changed dramatically. This past week has been a wave of emotions and introspection & I’ve not really known what to do with this experience.
Michael, and his team quite literally saved my life. I am still clueless as to how I will ever repay him and Swiss Rescue services. But I assure your I am working on it. Perhaps the first step is bringing awareness to the amazing job these guys do on the mountain and awareness to others to not be as careless as I was.
17 years snowboarding, and the majority of those times spending a lot of the time solo and off-piste. Never solo again. No matter how experienced you think you are, it is no joke. I was lured into a false sense of security which also led me to be very blasé about researching the areas I snowboard.It’s not fair to say ‘my luck ran out’ because the circumstances of my survival clearly show I’ve cashed in every last luck token at my disposal.
The last thank you to @apple, their side button 5 click to emergency services -especially great when your screen is constantly being dripped on, & to the service provider for giving me 3G connection and 3% battery 5m below the ice. The alternative to this has been keeping me up at night to say the least.
To walk /hobble away from this relatively unharmed & make my flight back to London that evening is quite the headf*ck.
Life 2.0 starts now. Thank you to all my close friends and family for all your support and love. It’s been really really amazing. I obviously promise never to do it again mum and dad. Sorry.”
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images from mrtimblakey IG