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American 'Speed Flyer' Disappears in Swiss Alps

Official search for Harrison Fast was called off Monday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2016 4:25 PM CDT
American Speed Flyer Disappears in Swiss Alps
Harrison Fast   (YouCaring)

Family and friends are launching their own search for a 28-year-old Colorado man who disappeared Saturday while speed flying in Switzerland, KDVR reports. According to the AP, speed flyers use special parachutes to fly close to the ground at high speeds while descending mountains. Mechanical engineer Harrison Fast was speed flying with a group of people on Jungfraud mountain—one of the tallest peaks in the Swiss Alps—on Saturday when the weather turned and the group lost track of him. The rest of Fast's group either got off the mountain on their own or were rescued by helicopter. "We've always known it was a risk," Fast's sister tells the Denver Channel. "He had injuries before, but we didn't expect him to go off, potentially go off a cliff."

After days of fruitless looking, Swiss authorities called off the search on Monday. Now Fast's family and friends are raising money to keep the search going. They've already raised more than $45,000—three times their goal—on an online fundraising page. And they're holding out hope. “I don't really go to that place where bad things live," Fast's brother-in-law tells KDVR. "I keep joking with the family that he's in some mountain-side bar, talking to a girl, with a dead cellphone, not knowing what we are all going through." Fast had been posting updates on his European trip to Facebook up to the day before he disappeared. (A 23-year-old BASE jumper from California died in the Swiss Alps late last year.)

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