Fortunately, being buried alive in the snow is something that the majority of us only experience in our worst nightmares.
But for people who love to ski or snowboard off-piste, it’s an ever-present danger. Data suggest that more than 150 people every year get buried in the snow – mostly snowboarders and skiers who venture off the beaten track.
Drone Manufactueres, Robodrone say that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) could help cut the death toll by scanning large avalanche-affected areas and finding survivors.
Mountain rescue services agree: there’s evidence that drones can cut search and rescue time in avalanches by 50%.
Getting to buried people quickly is vital. Nine out of ten people can survive an avalanche if rescued within the first fifteen minutes. Odds drop dramatically after that as carbon dioxide builds up around the mouth.
The Czech Mountain Rescue Service (MRS) uses Robodrone Kingfisher drones fitted with cameras and its own Avalanche Transceiver detection system.
The drone works on the same 457 kHz frequency as the transceiver.
When buried with your transceiver in Send mode, the drone will hover over the surface of the avalanche until it can pick up a strong signal from your avalanche beacon.
Once they have pinpointed the signal, this is relayed to rescuers .Drones, however, cannot yet dig people out of the snow, you need either a dog or a person to do that.
As this is the first year of the Czech Mountain Rescue team using the rescue drone there are no current rescue stats.
NB :Robodrone are working on thermal and multispectral systems that can see gases such as methane and carbon dioxide so if you do not wear one you can still be located.
Those who do not wear transceivers are at more risk of not being found by the drone so wearing an avalanche transceiver is a must.
Currently, only the Czech Mountain Rescue Service uses the drones, these are being operated in the following districts:
Drone engineers say that rescue services can use the drones in other emergency situations where people get buried in for example : Rockfalls and Landslides.
Dogs are a vital component of mountain rescue. Dogs are often able to sniff people out and get to the dig site faster than human operatives.
Dogs dig down to the person below, providing them with a vital supply of oxygen until the human rescue team arrives.
Setting off controlled avalanches is dangerous work. In January 2019, two ski patrollers died in an accident in the French resort of Meribel-Mottaret.
Drone makers recognise this problem and are now creating drones that can set off detonations remotely,
Without the need for direct human involvement. Colorado-based startup Mountain Drones has already developed a prototype that can activate a trigger to perform controlled avalanches.
There are all kinds of useful equipment that you can add to your fleet to help keep you safe on the mountain in light of this new technology.
Thank you for taking time to read our blog and I hope you now understand the importance of having the right equipment, We are offering you 10% OFF Avalanche Safety Kits, Transceivers, Shovels, Probes, Recco, Helmets & More, Simply use the coupon code MRDS10 at the checkout.
It’s important to stay safe and have the correct training when skiing or snowboarding off-piste please check out further blogs below :
If you would like to feature a blog about your organisation or experience in the snow please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01273 737676. We are happy to take guest blogs linking back to your website.