Skier rescued alive on a depth of 3 meters after 1 hour of burial

By Arjen on 24 January 2019 · 2

Saving lives for biscuits (c) RECCO
Saving lives for biscuits (c) RECCO

A person was rescued alive on January 14 in Jaun, Switzerland with the help of avalanche dog and RECCO Rescue System. According to Linus Buchs, in charge of the rescue operation and former Head of Rescue in Jaun, three skiers were skiing in a steep off-piste area on Monday last week when the avalanche occurred.

3 meters deep

A 22-year-old man got buried completely in a 50 meters wide and 250 meters long avalanche. The avalanche risk was 3 (considerable) out of 5 on the European Avalanche Danger Scale, and none of the skiers were equipped with a transceiver, shovel or probe. A witness called immediately for emergency assistance and a rescue team from REGA (Swiss Air-Rescue) came by helicopter with an avalanche dog and a RECCO detector.

The RECCO detector (c) RECCO
The RECCO detector (c) RECCO

“The avalanche dog marked a zone after 10 minutes, but the probing was unsuccessful. The rescue team immediately got a signal nearby with the RECCO detector and was able to pinpoint the victim. The position of the victim was confirmed with the probe and after 40 minutes of digging, the skier was found alive and conscious on a depth of 3.20 meters. He was rescued about 1 hour and 10 minutes after the burial and transported to the hospital. He is fine today”, says Buchs.

The skier was wearing an Arc’teryx jacket with an integrated RECCO rescue reflector.

RECCO rescue reflectors make you searchable to professional rescuers. They are not a substitute for a transceiver, shovel and probe used for companion rescue. Check out more about RECCO on this page.


  • Chester_Tartsnatcher
    Chester_Tartsnatcher op 25 January 2019 · 04:57
    amazing, glad nothing bad resulted.
  • MorningBrewer
    MorningBrewer op 25 January 2019 · 23:21
    Beacons are like helmets these days, a must have even if you are just cruising the groomers. Slides occur inbounds too (see what happened in Taos). I always take the shovel and probe too. If you have the Avi rescue skills, it's a responsibility to help those around.

    More education is needed to keep these people inbounds if they don't have the gear to save themselves or others they may put into danger.
    Wake up, brew, board, repeat


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