Thrill seekers’ Christmas adventure ends in nightmare

Two rogue paragliders in canton Valais had to be rescued in dramatic fashion after they collided with a ski lift cable on Thursday afternoon.

Thrill seekers' Christmas adventure ends in nightmare
Karl Roth/Lauchernalp Bergbahnen

The male and female thrill seekers’ parachute had become tangled in the cable of a ski lift but thankfully the machine was stopped almost immediately and they escaped without major injury.

The couple were then forced to hang above the ground as they waited for emergency services, with crowds of people looking on.

With just a few bumps and bruises, the couple had their feet back on solid ground after a 30-minute rescue by the resort's emergency response team.

Very lucky

However, Karl Roth, who is the manager of the Lauchernalp resort's ski lift system in canton Valais where the incident took place, says they were very lucky that the incident was not more serious.

If their parachute had been pulled into the machine's rigging it could have been a very dangerous situation. 

Photo: Karl Roth/Lauchernalp Bergbahnen

“Our rescue team had to climb up the ski lift poles and then rope down to the trapped couple,” Roth told The Local. 

“They managed to separate the parachute from the couple and they were cut free.

“The couple was a little embarrassed but they were wrong to fly so close to the ski facilities.” 

Although Roth was glad that nobody was seriously injured, he said that the couple had acted very irresponsibly. 

“Nobody should fly near the ski lifts,” he told Blick.

“We had to shut one of them off while we rescued them. This has financial consequences for the company and so must have consequences for them.

“A report has been made to the Federal Office of Transport and they will charge them for the money lost.”