Heart-stopping moment British father digs his son, 11, out alive from 5ft of snow he’d been buried under for 30 MINUTES after getting separated from his family while ski-ing in France
- Father Gillon Campbell said he had ‘never been so scared’ before in his life
- Fox was buried in the snow in an avalanche while off-piste in the French Alps
- He suffered no injuries. Video was released to warn of dangers while off-piste
This is the heart-stopping moment a British father has to dig his 11-year-old son out of five feet of snow after he got separated from them while ski-ing in France.
Father Gillon Campbell said he had ‘never been so scared’ as when he had to grab a shovel to rescue his son, Fox, who had been ski-ing off-piste in Chamonix in the Alps.
Heartbreaking footage captures the moment the little boy mumbles ‘thank you’ through frozen tears as his head emerges from the snow 30 minutes after he was buried.
When his father Gillon returned to the spot he noticed the snow ‘looked different’. He turned on his GPS tracker which told him his son, who also had one, was underneath him. ‘I just dug like everything in the world mattered to me’. Pictured holding his son who has a blue helmet
Father Gillon with his son Fox pictured at a stadium together. Fox is heard sobbing ‘thank you’ as he is pulled from the snow
This image shows the hole son Fox skied into before the snow fell onto him. He was off-piste in Chamonix, the French Alps
‘I just dug like everything in the world mattered to me,’ Gillon said. ‘That was a really, really scary moment. I mean, I’ve never been so scared.’
‘And I dug and I found his head one and a half metres under the snow. And I cleared his head and he talked to me.’
Video taken by a camera on Fox’s helmet shows the moment he was buried by an avalanche. He had gone off-piste to ski between two different pistes while his father waited for his younger brother to catch up, before following.
The boy jumps to avoid a hole in the snow, but falls in. Snow immediately falls on top of him.
The camera then captures the sounds of him struggling and shouting for his father while encased in the snow.
Fox, who is a member of the Freeriders Mountain Ski Club, was equipped with a backpack, GPS and shovel.
Pictured above is the moment father Gillon dug for his son in the snow of the French Alps
Gillon, wearing a light blue coat, pictured with rescue teams as they work to dig his son out (left) and a rescue team member standing in the five-foot deep hole (right) Fox was stuck in
Father Gillon pictured on the video as he explains the mission to rescue his son from the snow
Father Gillon said he was ‘surprised’ not to find his eldest son waiting for him at the other piste, when he got there. ‘But I thought he had met my wife,’ he said, ‘so we skied to the lift.
‘I thought my son was in front with her, but he wasn’t. So we went up the lift, but he still wasn’t there. And so I decided that I should just ski back the way I came and figure out where he was.
‘I skied back down into the gully and I was going along and something was different. The snow was different, it was crumblier on the ground.
‘And my transceiver, I turned it to search, and it beeped at me. And it told me someone was in the snow really close by.’
His son Fox pictured after being rescued (wearing blue helmet). His body was ‘very cold’ when he was dug from the snow, but he was unharmed
The moment the transceiver told Gillon that his son was buried underneath the snow
A piste pictured in Chamonix. The family had been heading from one piste to another
When he uncovered his son’s head and blue helmet, Gillon shouted for help and was quickly joined by a couple, who had heard him from the edge of the piste.
Within a few minutes the alarm had been raised and rescuers arrived to dig Fox out of the snow.
‘I won’t forget the moment I got to hold him,’ said Gillon. ‘He was so cold but he was alive right, and he was, fine.’
The boy suffered no injuries in the accident which happened on Saturday December 28 last year.
La Chamoniarde has released the footage to warn people about the dangers of ski-ing off the maintained pistes.
It comes a week after a British snowboarder was buried under snow in Switzerland.
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