Watch as the missing hiker buried under the snow – with only his arm free – manages to wave to a rescue helicopter flying overhead
- Man was skiing in the Lidairdes region when an avalanche hit on February 8
- He put down the helicopter by swinging his free arm out of the deep snow
This is the astonishing moment when a missing hiker, buried under the snow, managed to swing his free arm and catch the attention of a rescue helicopter flying overhead.
The footage shows the man waving his only free limb to attract attention, with the rest of his body apart from his head buried in the snow in Switzerland after an avalanche.
Filmed by paramedic Mathieu Lambert, the video shows the young man, who has not been given a name, waving at the helicopter as it shines a light on the mountain in a desperate attempt to find it in the dark.
In the first zoomed-out shot, it can be difficult to see the man buried in the snow.
However, when the video is zoomed in, a very small arm can be seen swinging up at the helicopter hovering above him.
At first it’s hard to see the man waving his arm up at the helicopter hovering above him
But when the paramedic who filmed the footage zooms in, you can clearly see the arm sticking out of the snow
The man used his only free limb to shoot down the helicopter sent to find him after the February 8 avalanche
The man was skiing in the Lidairdes region when an avalanche hit on February 8. The young man’s family raised the alarm and alerted emergency services when he did not return in time.
Air Glaviers, a rescue and transport company, received the alert at 5:41 p.m. and dispatched a helicopter with a paramedic and two rescue guides on board.
The team first checked the parking lot where the man had started his journey to make sure he had not returned to his car. They then began flying over the route he had given his family.
The team eventually found visible traces and dropped one of the guides to trace them.
Miraculously, they saw the man wave at them under a large pile of snow blocks, before dragging him 100 feet to safety.
Avalanches are quite common in Switzerland, with the Alpine cantons, part of the Swiss Alps, experiencing about 10,000 avalanches annually. About four-fifths of that occur in February, March and April.
Avalanches kill more than 150 people worldwide each year. They are caused by a variety of incidents, including increased load from storms, snowfall or erosion, ice melt from solar radiation and rain, earthquakes, rockfall and icefall.