NEWS

Dramatic video of snowboarder rescued from certain death goes viral

A snowboarder was buried headfirst deep in a tree well in an out-of-bounds area of Mt. Baker in Washington State recently, and a video taken from his rescuer's helmet cam shows the dramatic rescue.

A heroic skier named Francis Zuber saved snowboarder Ian Steger and it was all caught on video. Both men recently spoke about the experience to ABC 7 news.

"I caught this little flash of red out of the corner of my eye," said Zuber. "And I knew it was kind of a weird thing to see because we're out of bounds. I knew something was wrong. You know, I yelled up to him, and no response."
 

The video shows when Zuber came upon what looked like just an upside-down snowboard on top of the snow, and it shows Zuber just digging away at first with his skis and then popping them off with his hands when he gets closer to Steger. He was talking to the snowboarder the entire time, but Steger told ABC news he didn't hear a thing.

"You can see in that video that Francis was asking if I was okay," said Steger. "He was letting me know he was coming up to me. I didn't hear any of that. It was complete darkness. I could only hear, you know, the sound of my own breathing."

One of the hazards of skiing is the possibility of getting buried in snow during an accident. If you or someone you are skiing with becomes buried in snow, it is essential to act quickly to increase the chances of survival. There are many steps to follow in such an emergency including calling for help and marking the area so it is easier for rescuers to locate the victim.

Beyond that, once the situation is accessed, the key thing to do is to dig first and foremost around the person's face so they can breathe followed by the chest and torso. It is not recommended to try to pull the victim out of the snow immediately, as this can cause suffocation. Instead, create a small space around the person's face to allow them to breathe.

And that, as the video shows, is exactly what Zuber does.

Steger was incredibly lucky that Zuber was nearby and happen to see, otherwise, he knows what would have happened.

"One of the things that I was thinking about while I was down there was like, wow, like, I'm going to die down here and I'm not going to be able to, you know, tell my fiancee how much I love her," Steger told ABC news.

The video is a reminder that it is always a good idea to ski with a buddy, and in remote and dangerous areas, it is essential.

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