Snowboarder Catches The Moment His Airbag Saved Him From An Avalanche

A snowboarder captured the terrifying moment an avalanche started around his feet and he was dragged down the mountain side by the force of it.

Luckily, it also captures the moment that he managed to deploy an airbag that he had strapped to his back for exactly that kind of situation.

Even though he failed to grab the cord to set it off at the first attempt, he managed to grab it at the second time of asking and it went off in the nick of time.

Thomas Kray, who is from Beirut in Lebanon, has twice before been involved in situations with avalanches and wears the airbag as a precaution whenever snowboarding off-piste (away from traditional slopes).

Luckily he managed to ride it out and then make for safety. He miraculously escaped with only a bruised finger.

Credit: Instagram / kray_snowboards
Credit: Instagram / kray_snowboards

The incident took place near one of Kray's favourite snowboard routes nears the French skiing resort of Tignes in the French Alps. He had hiked up the peak known as 'Petite Balme' and was returning down as the snow began to collapse in around him.

Of his ordeal, he said: "Thank God I could reach the handle with my right hand. I fell under the snow as you would fall underwater.

"The airbag kept me afloat and I could ride down unharmed after the avalanche stopped. There's little you can do after you get caught in an avalanche"

Once his airbag had opened he knew that he would have a better chance of survival - this kind of equipment offers about a 50 percent improvement in the person's chances of escaping disaster.

Credit: Instagram / kray_snowboards
Credit: Instagram / kray_snowboards

He also knew that it was important to get an arm across his face to protect his mouth from becoming jammed full of snow and allowing himself to breathe as he was being swept down the hill.

Once he was safely out of danger he decided to share the video so as to highlight the importance of knowing what to do in an avalanche if you are a skier or snowboarder - and to remind people not to forget the risks involved with going off-piste.

The device works pretty much like a float and helps keep the user safe by stopping them from being dragged underneath the snow.

Avalanches filter larger objects to the top of the snow and smaller ones to the bottom. By making the person wearing it larger, the device stops them from being buried.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram / kray_snowboards

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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