“Do you have the lifeguard’s eye? Last night, one of our crews was mobilized to search for a missing hiker. Although buried up to his neck for more than 6 hours in compact snow, the survivor had only his head and one of his arms out of the casting, allowing him to wave to the helicopter as it passed.”
Tip of the cap to this crew from Air-Glaciers operating in the Liddes region of Switzerland whose keen vision was able to spot the tiny shape of hiker who was buried up to his neck on the side of mountain and only had one arm free to wave at the passing helicopter. The hiker had been trapped for 6 hours and was suffering from hypothermia but had the wherewithal to wave as the search light swept his position. The footage is incredible.
Air-Glaciers to the rescue of a missing hiker.
Yesterday at nightfall, a crew of Air-Glaciers was mobilized to search for a missing person. The alarm fell at 5:41 p.m. for a young man who had gone on a ski tour that morning in the Liddes region and who did not return.
Luckily, although he left alone, he had informed his family of his route, which he had already taken several times, as well as of his planned return at the beginning of the afternoon. On the way, he had even sent a photo of his passage over a pass, the last clue to his journey of the day which notably enabled the crew to reduce the search perimeter.
The intervention team, made up of a pilot, a paramedic, a lifeguard guide and a second guide from the region who had come to help, first went to the car park where the unlucky had left his car to make sure he hadn’t returned in the meantime. The search then began by flying over the route he had announced to his family, until finally a fresh trace of his passage could be perceived.
Placed on the ground, the guide of the region immediately set in motion to follow the visible traces, while the helicopter resumed its aerial search in the neighboring corridors. It was there that, going up a corridor, our pilot was able to detect a sign of life in a large pile of blocks of snow, by the simple light of the searchlight in the dark night. Still conscious, although buried up to his neck for more than 6 hours in compact snow, the survivor had only his head and one of his arms out of the casting, allowing him to signal to the helicopter at the time of his passage.
Our lifeguard guide was then immediately dropped off with him to begin his extraction while waiting for the second guide to join them. The three people were finally evacuated by winch (length of more than 30m) from the small valley in which they were.
A story with a happy ending: the hiker, safe and sound, was airlifted unharmed, with slight hypothermia.