Trapped Snowboarder Saved In Dramatic Cable Car Rescue

A trapped snowboarder has been rescued from an avalanche-prone mountain slope during a daring abseil operation from a suspended cable car.

The 23-year-old German snowboarder became lost in bad weather on a mountain near Zell am See, a famous ski resort located in the Austrian state of Salzburg.

The spectacular abseiling rescue attempt from a gondola

As the snow on the slope was prone to avalanches and evening was setting in, he found himself trapped on the mountain. He dug a hole in the snow to protect himself from the severe conditions and waited for help.

The next day, rescuers in a cable car spotted the German with binoculars.

Since there was a heightened risk of avalanches in the area, it was decided that they could only reach the snowboarder from above.

They decided to launch a daring abseil operation from the cable car, which is suspended high above the forested mountain slope.

Rescue leader Rainer Straub explained that the cable car was moved as close as possible to the man’s location before an abseiler went down the rope to pick him up.

The rescued man being taken into the gondola

The 23-year-old was brought to the valley station with slight signs of hypothermia, according to local media.

The dangerous rescue mission was reportedly affected by avalanches rolling down the mountainside.

To make matters worse, three other snowboarders entered the avalanche-prone slope above them at the same time, endangering not only themselves but also the rescuers.

The three snowboarders ended up in trouble as well, and needed to be rescued by Straub and his team.

Barbara Fischer of the Salzburg public prosecutor’s office said: “This was highly irresponsible. When the prosecution became aware of it, the security authorities were tasked to investigate and file criminal complaints against the three snowboarders.”

Story By: Koen BerghuisSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Central European News


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