Item: Experience with avalanche rescue transceivers
Title: Experience with avalanche rescue transceivers
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1976 International Snow Science Workshop, Banff, Alberta
Authors: J.G. Lawton
Abstract: The practicality of avalanche rescue transceivers has been established beyond any doubt by the successful rescues which have been carried out by means of this equipment. Several accidents in which rescue transceivers were used to locate victims who were completely buried by avalanches will be reviewed (the fact that Skadis were used in these rescues is a reflection of the data available to the author, who, to date, is not aware of any successful rescues by the use of transceivers of any other manufacture). Errors which have occurred in the use of rescue transceivers, some of which have resulted in fatalities, will be discussed (again the fact that none of these cases involved Skadis reflects the data available to the author). No fatalities due to misuse or failure of Skadi have been reported. However, in at least one case, a skier equipped with a Skadi was killed by an avalanche in spite of being promptly located and the immediate availability of medical help. This accident underscores our warning that a rescue transceiver cannot protect one from the dangers of avalanches -- all it can do is to speed up locating a victim. Finally, we will report on an accident which appears to have set a record for the least elapsed time to locate a victim who was completely buried by an avalanche.
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Keywords: skadi, avalanche rescue, transceiver, fatalities
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