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Prince Pal Survived Because of Avalanche Airbag

The Austrian man who was the sole companion of Dutch Prince Johan Friso when they were both buried by an avalanche was able to free himself because he was wearing an avalanche airbag.

Local hotel owner Florian Moosbrugger who has been a friend to the 43-year-old prince since they were children confirmed that he had been with the Prince when they decided to ski down the mountain.

When the avalanche struck the pair Moosbrugger said he had been able to survive because he was wearing the cumbersome avalanche airbag which the Prince was not.

He been able to free himself from the snow and then had found the Prince who was buried 40 centimetres under the snow. He said he had had to dig him out with his bare hands and it had taken 20 minutes to reach his friend and pull him to the surface.

Moosbrugger who is the boss of the Hotel Post in Lech said that they had set off around 12 clock on the day of the accident when the roughly 30 metre wide and 50 metre long snow field had suddenly dislodged and hit them.

As an experienced mountain rescuer whose father died while climbing in the Himalayas he had been able to free himself because he's also been wearing airbag.

However he refused to give more details because of the friendship that existed with his friend the Prince over the past 42 years. The only other thing he did say was to praise the rescuers for their professionalism in reanimating the Prince.

The airbag he was wearing is known to be the only thing that can actively help if hit by an avalanche. It's only disadvantage is that it has to be activated by the person wearing it – and it works on the principle of making the person a larger part of the moving mass and therefore remaining on the surface. Avalanche expert Rudi Mair said: "Ending up totally covered after an avalanche if you're wearing an airbag is almost impossible. In addition the bright orange colour means that the victim is easy to find.

"The only disadvantage is that it's heavy – which is possibly the reason why the Prince had not been carrying one and has instead decided to travel with just an avalanche rescue sender."

Austrian Times


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Write your comment to this article here

  • Susan Whalen wrote on 23. 02. 2012 from United States about "Prince Pal Survived Beca..."

    The Prince is an adult, not in line to the throne, and he is thus free to make his own decisions about whether to ski or not ski. Unless there is information to the effect that he was forced down the slope, it seems unfair to blame Mr. Moosbrugger, unless he is some kind of safety expert upon whom the Prince relied. It is fair, however, to conduct an investigation into this tragedy, which may well orphan two young children and widow their mother. Thank you for the excellent coverage you've given in this article.

    Reply

  • Walter starte wrote on 20. 02. 2012 from Courchevel 1850. / France about "Prince Pal Survived Beca..."

    If Florian is an expert rescue member, he should have never taken the Prince Friso without avalanche airbag when they are planning to ski in such areas. Prince is just an experianced skier but Florian is guide,expert and the reonsible men. I am a pro skier and fully qualified. Besides , the Airbag back packs are nowadays are very light. Check ABS website. I know Lech area, there are various freeride , off piste skiing area which are less steep and risky than this. Why Florian decided to go there in the first skiing day of Prince. Prince is not an athletich skier. 1-they had nothing to do there 2- on a day like that, in Lech, you should never ever ski without Airbag if you plan to leave prepared slopes. Big mistake

    Reply




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