Operation in the dark – crashed paraglider rescued by Zugspitze

Dramatic night mission for the Ehrwald mountain rescue service on the Zugspitze in Tyrol: Together with the team from the RK-2 emergency helicopter, the emergency services recovered a seriously injured German paraglider pilot in the dark on Friday. The 39-year-old was flown to the Innsbruck clinic.

The 39-year-old climbed the Zugspitze on foot with two colleagues during the day. The trio then wanted to paraglide back into the valley. After his two friends – also Germans – got off to a successful start, the 39-year-old tried it with a tail wind and therefore tricky conditions. He did not get far, however, and fell into rough terrain around 5 p.m. The friend raised the alarm, where he was seriously injured and was also in great danger of falling further over the flank. “He still managed to contact his girlfriend, who sounded the alarm,” says Regina Poberschnigg, head of Ehrwald mountain rescue. A terrestrial rescue with the support of the Zugspitzbahn was not possible because the railway is currently carrying out the revision. “Fortunately, the RK-2 emergency doctor’s helicopter was able to take off from Reutte,” says Poberschnigg. But because the paraglider was directly below the injured, the recovery with the winch failed for the time being. The rotor wind would have caught the glider and caused the victim to fall. Baptism of fire for rescue with a winch at night The RK-2, which recently had permission for a night rescue with a winch, dropped two mountain rescuers nearby. They fought their way through snow and ice in the dark to the injured. One of the two cut the umbrella and secured the patient, while the helicopter brought two more mountain rescuers to the Zugspitze. There the patient was given initial medical care and then flown to the clinic.
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