Night rescue operation in the Tatra Mountains. The climbers suddenly disappeared from the GPS radar

Night rescue operation in the Tatra Mountains.  The climbers suddenly disappeared from the GPS radar

The concerned family of two young tourists reported their disappearance to the services. Eight rescuers rushed to help the injured on the first night of the new year.

During winter trips to the mountains, less experienced climbers should choose simple routes for beginners. Trips to the High Tatras in difficult winter conditions may result in the intervention of emergency services. Such a situation occurred on the first night of 2024, when the concerned family of two tourists notified the Slovak equivalent of TOPR, the HZS organization (Horská záchranná služba), about their disappearance. The GPS transmitter they had with them suddenly stopped giving their location. It was confirmed that one of the men was definitely Polish.

GPS signal broken

According to the Slovak mountain rescue service, the report received came from a worried family – for a long time they were unable to contact a pair of friends who had set off on a ski mountaineering expedition to Popradskie Lake through Wyżnia Koprowa Przełęcz to Koprowy Wierch (2,366 meters above sea level). The mountain trip was to include climbing and fast skiing. Twenty-year-olds notified their loved ones about their ambitious New Year’s plans, making it possible to track their location using a GPS transmitter. When the signal was lost, the family immediately notified HZS.

To the rescue in the middle of the night

“Eight mountain rescuers set out into the area in two groups. An HZS drone with thermal imaging was also launched,” the organization said in a statement. The first skier was quickly found and he informed his friend about the accident. As it turned out, one of the men fell into the Hlinska valley while descending. The uninjured mountaineer provided rescuers with all available information about his friend’s location. Initially, he tried to help him on his own, but the injured skier was unable to continue walking or riding. “After reaching the place where the injured tourist was staying, rescuers provided both of them with medical care, warming them up and began transporting them to the regional HZS center in the High Tatras, where family members were waiting for them, in the company of whom they left the hospital at their own request,” we read.

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