Snow and Avalanche Center 2020 Avalanche News

The Swiss Air Rescue Rega rescued a hiker from an avalanche

September 28, 2020

The woman had been buried more than a meter deep by snow while on a hiking trail. Two Rega helicopters, two mountain rescuers from the Swiss Alpine Club SAC and an avalanche dog went to the rescue.

Rega, Swiss Alpine Club SAC and avalanche dog worked together

The woman was with a friend on the hiking trail above the Seealpsee when she was buried by the falling snow. The friend and two people nearby who had observed the incident began to search for the victim and alerted the rescue service.

The Rega helicopter operations center then called on crews from its St Gallen and Mollis bases, as well as two mountain rescuers from the Swiss Alpine Club SAC and an avalanche dog. On the way to the Seealpsee, the St Gallen crew picked up the first mountain rescuer, dropped him off at the scene together with the emergency doctor and then brought the avalanche dog handler and his dog to the scene.

Woman was rescued and brought to hospital

After a brief search by the rescue workers, the woman was located more than a meter below the snow masses and dug up with a probe. The Rega emergency doctor cared for the hypothermic woman on site before she could be flown on the rescue hoist of the Mollis-based helicopter to the intermediate landing area, and then to the hospital.

Rapid rescue and efficient co-operation along the entire rescue chain are decisive for the survival of buried victims. This is co-ordinated by Rega's helicopter operations center, which not only provides the nearest suitable rescue helicopters, but also co-ordinates support from SAC mountain rescuers, avalanche dogs and any additional resources within a very short time.

Rega had recently introduced an app, making rescues more efficient and easier to locate.

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