21. August 2023

Peak period: 39 rescues over the weekend

Air Zermatt has had its busiest weekend so far this summer. In total, the Valais air rescuers were called out on 39 missions over the last two days. At times, three Air Zermatt helicopters were in action at the same time for rescues. On Saturday alone, the rescue crews were called to 24 emergencies.

The hot summer weather attracted many people outdoors, especially in the mountains. Air Zermatt was therefore increasingly called out by the Cantonal Valais Rescue Organisation (emergency number 144) to help people in emergency situations. The spectrum of missions was extremely varied and included rescue operations in the mountains, several traffic accidents and paragliding accidents, as well as numerous medical emergencies. Unfortunately, the weekend ended fatally for several people. 

Last Saturday, an accident occurred on the Fiescheralp in which a delta glider crashed and the pilot died. Also on Sunday, three mountaineers fell into the depths on their tours on the Bietschhorn, the Weissmies and the Pizzo Gallina and were killed. In addition, two climbers on the Allalin fell into a glacier slope, where one person suffered serious injuries and lost his life.

Night operation on the Matterhorn

A climber on the Matterhorn was luckier. At around 9 pm on Saturday, Air Zermatt was called to a night operation on the Matterhorn. A climber was hit by a rockfall about 350 metres above the Hörnli hut. He injured his knee. The Air Zermatt rescue crew was able to safely evacuate the climber from the Hörnli ridge in the darkness. 

Mission not only in the mountains

But it was not only in the mountains that Air Zermatt's help was needed. A traffic accident involving a motorbike occurred on the Furka road in Selkingen, while another motorbike accident was reported on the Nufenen road. In both cases, the Air Zermatt rescue helicopters were requested.

In addition, Air Zermatt was on duty at the Lower Valais Mountain Bike Marathon Grand Raid. During the race, several mountain bikers who had had accidents had to be medically treated and then flown to hospital in Sion.


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