FOUR mountaineers from the Czech Republic escaped a frozen grave in the High Tatras on February 8. An avalanche hit them in the Zmrzlá Valey close to Zelené Pleso lake. At that time, avalanche dogs and their handlers were undergoing a week-long training in the Tatras, the Pravda daily wrote.
People in the cottage at the Zelené Pleso, including two rescuers, saw the avalanche. They immediately called for help. A rescue helicopter from Poprad first picked up the avalanche dogs and their handlers and took them to the cottage. Due to the bad weather it could not take them directly to the site. The rescuers went by snow scooters and on foot to the place hit by the avalanche, the director of the Mountain Rescue Service Jozef Janiga told the daily.
The rescuers found three men, who managed to get out of the avalanche on their own. They started immediately to search for a woman. After 30 minutes they found her in shock, but alive. She complained of chest pains.
The rescuers guess that the woman managed to create an air pocket in the snow, which saved her life.
"She did not suffer any external injuries," the doctor of the rescue team Marcel Sedlačko told the daily. He said that the woman was a lucky person as the critical time under an avalanche is 15 minutes. "Up to this point, the person under the avalanche can breathe, even though the situation is getting worse. After 15 minutes the situation is very bad."
18. Feb 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports