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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Live recovery after 5 hour burial

    Austrian mountain rescuers have dubbed the survival of a man in his twenties a "Christmas miracle" after an avalanche buried him in snow for five hours.

    Police were contacted shortly before 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT) on Christmas Day by a man who said the 26-year-old had not returned from skiing.

    The man had managed to get through to the skier's mobile phone but heard only "crackling noises" on the line.

    The missing skier was located some two hours later.

    Rescuers traced him beneath a metre of snow on his electronic avalanche victim transceiver, which pinpointed the man on a slope on Mt Pleschnitzzinken in the north-western area of Upper Styria.

    Transceivers are worn on the body and emit an electromagnetic signal. They can also be used in search mode to pick up signals from other devices.
    'Extremely lucky'

    A big team from the Gröbming mountain rescue and local police dug the man out of the snow and he was taken down to the valley suffering from hypothermia but otherwise unharmed.

    "You can't move under a blanket of snow like this," said Stefan Schröck of the Styria mountain rescue service told Austrian public broadcaster ORF. "The man was extremely lucky he had a big enough air pocket under the blanket of snow, so he had oxygen too and was able to breathe." Surviving for five hours under an avalanche happens only every 20 years in the Alps, according to Mr Schröck.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Wow! Definitely want more info on this about how they found him. I'm guessing they closed in by tracing his cell phone until they were close enough to use the electronic avalanche victim transceivers? - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Rescuers in the Alps have reported successfully resuscitating pulseless hypothermic avalanche victims by transporting them to hospitals and warming them on a heart lung machine. 5 hours is a long time under the snow though. One would expect most people buried that long to be two hypothermic to resuscitate. OTOH Anna Conrad survived burial for 5 days after the Alpine Meadows avalanche, but she was in a very large airpocket under tipped over lockers, so she didn't cool down as rapdily as might be expected. She did lose a leg and some toes.
    Survival of cold, apparently dead victims is well known after cold water drowning as well. The mantra is "you're not dead until you're warm and dead".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    here and there
    Wow, that guy is lucky.

    Also wondering about the circumstances of this burial.
    watch out for snakes

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