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60-year-old saves two brothers by pushing them out of helicopter during deadly avalanche

His quick action saved him and two others from an avalanche on the Petit Combin peak of the Swiss Alps.

60-year-old saves two brothers by pushing them out of helicopter during deadly avalanche
Cover Image Source: YouTube | @MrEdCourage

Recently, the Petit Comin peaks of the Swiss Alps in the canton of Valais, Switzerland faced a life-threatening avalanche that squandered a few lives. However, the quick-witted action of experienced British skier, Edward Courage saved two brothers, per The Telegraph.

Image Source: Rescue workers at the scene of the accident which killed 10 people in Evolene. (Photo by Patrick Durand/Sygma via Getty Images)
Image Source: Rescue workers at the scene of the accident which killed 10 people in Evolene. (Photo by Patrick Durand/Sygma via Getty Images)

Courage, 60s, is a British skier and aviation enthusiast who belongs to the Courage Brewery family based in Verbier, Switzerland. On April 2, Courage was among a six-member crew that was on board an Air-Glaciers B3-type helicopter flying to the top of the Petit Combin peak near Verbier. Courage was accompanied by three young skiers - James Goff and brothers Teddy and Guy Hutchings, along with a mountain guide and the pilot. When the helicopter carrying the six men was about to land on the 3668-meter-high peak of the mountain, some unknown mishap led to the aircraft sliding down the summit. The weather conditions that morning were dubbed to be "perfect powder," "sunshine" and "bluebird," with "no wind–although there may have been gusts."



 

While the reason for the mishap is still under investigation, the helicopter was reported to have been consumed by the avalanche by other skiers who reached the summit after Courage and the team. "We landed after them on the south side of Le Petit Combin and saw the avalanche. It was horrific. We couldn’t make out the helicopter, it was consumed in the avalanche. We heard of the crash over the radio. We were advised to get safely off the mountain," one of the skiers who climbed the peak told the news channel. Knowing the magnitude of the crash, Courage acted swiftly by pushing the Hutchings brothers out of the helicopter when it started sliding down the mountain. He then took a 500-meter plunge down the slope and was carried away by the avalanche before descending a 30-meter crevasse.

Image Source: People learning to ski in Valais, Switzerland. The snow-covered Alps and forest rise above the resort's buildings. (Photo by Paul Almasy/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
Image Source: People learning to ski in Valais, Switzerland. The snow-covered Alps and forest rise above the resort's buildings. (Photo by Paul Almasy/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

The old man survived the fall and was stranded on a ledge in the crevasse for five hours. The Hutching brothers also safely landed close to each other on the snowy mountains. The emergency services eventually arrived with seven rescue helicopters and the brothers were easy to spot. However, it took a while for them to locate Courage. Luckily he was spotted with the help of a transceiver, though he suffered multiple broken bones. The three skiers were airlifted to safety while, tragically, the other men who were in the aircraft lost their lives.

Courage is undergoing surgeries, and the Hutchings brothers, who suffered less severe injuries, are in the process of recovery. Speaking to The Times, the Hutchings brothers' parents Richard and Maeve Hutchings said, "Our thoughts are with the families of James, Adam and the pilot for their appalling losses," and added, "Ted was released from hospital today on crutches. Guy is still in the hospital. No operations currently required but severely beaten up and bed-bound."

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