Four Israeli hikers rescued from snow storm in Pyrenees

By
May 8, 2011 02:55

The hikers, all in their 20s, were saved by a search and rescue squad in Spain.

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Four Israeli hikers were rescued in Spain on Friday, after they were caught in a snowstorm and trapped in a remote location in the Pyrenees Mountains.

The hikers, all in their early 20s, were saved by a local search and rescue squad that arrived by helicopter.

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The hikers had spent Thursday night in a cave in the Pyrenees and awoke Friday morning to see that the area had been covered by heavy snowfall. They contacted the operations desk of the Tel Aviv-based company Magnus International Search and Rescue, which they had first contracted through their travel insurance provider, Phoenix Insurance. Magnus then contacted the search and rescue team in Spain and helped it locate the four Israelis.

Hillik Magnus, head of Magnus International Search and Rescue, told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday, that the hikers did the right thing by contacting the rescue teams and remaining where they were until help arrived. At the same time, Magnus said they made errors that are very common among young hikers.

“They did what every young backpacker does; they didn’t hire a guide. A guide is someone who will tell you what equipment to have, what info you need, where to go and where not to go,” he said.

“Whenever I go on a trip like this, I always get a guide. These young people had equipment and gear, but the best tool to have is a guide who know what he’s doing,” said Magnus, who has 17 years experience leading hundreds of rescue missions around the world.

The Pyrenees is not particularly dangerous, but “in a place that’s outdoors there are problems that you face that you don’t face day to day, and if you lack knowledge and the awareness you can get into problems.

What they did was to stay in place and wait for help to come, and this was the right and courageous thing to do,” he said.


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