Recco® has told us about a search operation for Russian snowboarders in which they played an important role.
On the 10th of February, seven snowboarders were hit by an avalanche on the northern slopes of Mount Cheget close to Mount Elbrus. The avalanche deposit was six meters deep in places and rescue workers resorted to using chain saws to cut through the debris. 160 rescue workers and 9 avalanche dogs were on the site working in very difficult conditions.
On the 18th of February the Elbrus search and rescue service contacted their German counterparts and asked for two German guides to organize a search using the Recco system. On the 20th of February the first victim was localized after just 5 minutes searching with the Recco detector because of a special reflector. He was buried under 3 meters of snow. A quarter of an hour later a second victim was found thanks to a piece of electronic equipment. The next day another two victims along with two backpacks were found with the Recco which had detected electronic devices.
Although a notable success for Recco none of the victims was alive. However use of the equipment clearly minimizes the time spent by rescue services on the scene of an avalanche. Backcountry users are reminded that the best chance of being rescued alive is by friends properly equipped with avalanche transceivers, poles and shovels.