NewsSearch campaign for holidaymakers in Austria: German family in...

Search campaign for holidaymakers in Austria: German family in mountain distress spends the night on an Alpine glacier

Created: 08/24/2022, 2:11 p.m

Österreich: Nach einer Nacht auf einem Alpengletscher rettet die Bergwacht eine deutsche Familie von der Schesaplana.
Austria: After a night on an Alpine glacier, the mountain rescue service rescues a German family from the Schesaplana. © Facebook/local fire brigade Brand

No network to make an emergency call: A family from Germany has been rescued after spending a night on an Alpine glacier. Emergency services speak of guardian angels.

Brand – It almost sounds like a small miracle: A thirteen-year-old girl (13), her father (45) and grandfather (77) were rescued unharmed after a night on an Austrian glacier. The happy end of the holiday in Austria obviously also affects the rescue workers involved.

“God sent all the guardian angels for the THREE vacationers, because we could only hand them over to the @roteskreuzbludenz with slight hypothermia,” writes the local fire brigade Brand on Facebook about “Operation No. 13”.

Austria: German family in mountain distress spends night on Alpine glacier

The German family from the Stuttgart area wanted to hike from the Totalhütte via the Schesaplana (Austria) to the Mannheimer Hütte on Monday morning, but never got there. The search operation started around midnight. The hut landlord made an alpine emergency call around 11 p.m. Relatives informed him, the Vorarlberg police said.

In the area of the Schesaplana saddle at an altitude of around 2,700 meters, the group left the marked route at one point. The three descended down a glacier towards the glacial lakes. “Arriving at the glacial lakes, they found no more trail markings”. The attempt to get to the hiking trail via the glacier failed due to a lack of equipment. Crampons were missing from the shoes, police said.

No emergency call possible: family spends the night on the glacier in the emergency bivouac

An emergency call was not possible due to a lack of network reception. So the three lost hikers erected an emergency bivouac at nightfall.

Search campaign for vacationers in Austria: Helicopter locates family with thermal imaging camera

Three search parties left the area around 1 a.m. after midnight. Two hours later (3 a.m.), a rescue helicopter managed to locate the missing persons with a thermal imaging camera. The mountain rescuers reached the three in the early hours of the morning. They were severely hypothermic, but were responsive, according to the emergency services. The girl, her father and grandfather were taken to the valley in a rescue helicopter and then to a hospital.

Missions by mountain rescuers in the Alps are often dramatic. Search operations on glaciers are often hopeless. A snowboarder has escaped icy death in the Swiss Alps. The Brit fell into a crevasse, but a mobile phone function saved his life. (ml)

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