Quick-Thinking Rescuer Saves Life of Man Trapped in Glacier

German mountaineer lucky to be alive after falling into a crevice in Austria
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 9, 2017 10:15 AM CST
He Spent 5 Days Trapped in a Glacier. Finally, a Rescue
Lucky man.   (Getty Images/Johannes Ablaber)

Austrian emergency teams have rescued a German mountaineer who spent five days in a deep glacier crevice after slipping. Officials say the man was found in the 100-foot-deep gap Thursday after he succeeded in making an emergency call from his cellphone following numerous failed attempts because of poor reception, the AP reports. The man had been reported missing by his father Saturday on the rugged Dachstein range southeast of the city of Salzburg. State broadcaster ORF cites an alpine rescue official as saying the man is only "relatively lightly hurt" considering the drop, with shoulder and foot injuries.

Deutsche Welle, which notes the poor weather and risk of avalanches made rescuers' efforts more difficult, documents how police first found the man's car near a lake at the foot of the mountain Wednesday night. He'd been trying to make calls from his phone, and finally one call went through, though only for a few seconds. A quick-thinking member of the rescue team switched communications over to texting, at which point the man was able to relay to them where he was. "We would not have found him otherwise," another rescuer says. The man was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital after the early morning rescue. He's not being identified due to Austrian privacy laws.

(More Austria stories.)

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