An 11 year old boy who was buried by 5 feet of snow while skiing in France was saved by an Avalanche Transceiver.
Fox Campbell was skiing in Le Tour, Chamonix, France, with his father, Gillian Campbell, when the two went off the piste and Fox fell into a hole. Both were experienced skiers and used to going off-piste. It wasn’t far from the piste, it was like a short cut.
When Mr Campbell reached the bottom of the run, he realised his son was no longer with him.
Mr Campbell retraced their route. He saw one area of the gully just 30 m off-piste had been disturbed with loose snow.
Both Fox and Gillian Campbell were both wearing Avalanche transceivers, A transceiver is designed for use in an avalanche emergency, they receive and search signals and direct you in the right direction with LED Arrows and Audio tones.
Fox’s transceiver was set to receive mode whilst Gillian switched his to search mode to Emit a signal from his sons transceiver.
This enabled Mr Campbell to locate his son buried under the snow.
Mr Campbell said “I Just dug like everything in the world mattered to me”.
I’ve never been so scared “I dug and found his head about one and a half metres under the snow. I cleared his head and he talked to me”.
“I won’t forget the moment I got to hold him, He was so cold but alive.”
Gillian used the Mammut Barryvox whilst searching for his son, see video below:
Anthony Bouricha, from La Chamoniarde rescue team was one of the rescuers who saved Fox and said that being trapped for much longer in the snow could have been fatal.
“He was buried under the snow for 30 minutes and the chance of survival after this time is usually slim as the risk of suffocation is very high,” he said.
“It is important to remember that only the open and marked pistes are secured and patrolled by the patrollers. We put up signs to warn of danger and we trigger avalanches to secure the open ski slopes but we do not trigger avalanches to secure anywhere off-piste.”
Mr Campbell has said that “he hopes his story will warn others about the dangers of off-piste. Even if it is just a few metres off marked runs, it’s still off piste and fraught with danger”.
It’s important to stay safe and have the correct training when skiing or snowboarding off-piste please check out further blogs below:
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