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Airbag System Can Save Lives In Avalanches

Contributor:
enthuse
enthuse
Airbag System Can Save Lives In Avalanches

Heavy snow falls this winter has meant very dangerous back country conditions for skiers and snow boarders that have resulted in three deaths, but importers of an Avalanche Airbag System say the best survival technique in an avalanche is not to get buried in the first place.
 
”Skiing outside the ski area boundary and in the backcountry you must be prepared for the possibility of an avalanche,” Brandex Adventure Sports, which imports the Avalanche Airbag System into New Zealand, Snowsports Director Ian Bright said.
 
“This applies to everybody even when conditions are optimal. You can’t solely rely on your companions as they may be buried as well, and you can’t just rely on an avalanche beacon as the rescue team has only limited time to locate and rescue you.”
 
Bright says the ABS airbag system – which Brandex has started importing into New Zealand for the first time this winter - can prevent skiers and snowboarders from being buried and speeds up the rescue time.
 
“The ABS avalanche airbag is a well thought out and proven system. When you pull on the activation handle of your ABS avalanche airbag two airbags are activated instantly and the volume of the airbags allows you to stay on the surface of the avalanche,” Bright said.
 
“The bags are also highly visible and they mean you do not solely rely on a rescue or an avalanche beacon.”
 
“Approximately 90 percent of all avalanche deaths are solely the result of a complete burial a predominant number of buried victims have obstructed airways and are not able to breathe with or without breathing aids, but approx. 98 percent of all avalanche victims who activated their ABS-avalanche airbag survive the avalanche almost unharmed.”
 
Recue searchers often have very deep debris to search through to find the victims of an avalanche, and people taking the risk and going into back country areas are advised to take locator beacons, snow probes and shovels, and be well informed about the risks of where they were going.
 
Bright says the ABS airbag system massively reduces the chance of being buried.
 
“You have to stay on top to stay alive, and the ABS airbag system has a well proven track record of saving lives.” he says.
 

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