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Indian Air Force rescues German couple trapped in a blizzard while trekking in Himachal Pradesh

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force on Tuesday said its personnel have rescued a German couple who were trapped in a blizzard for at least three days while trekking from Ringdum to Dibling near Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal Pradesh.

 Indian Air Force rescues German couple trapped in a blizzard while trekking in Himachal Pradesh

Representational image. Reuters

According to a statement by the air force, the German couple—Michael and his wife Annettee—were trekking when they were caught in a blizzard. For two days incessant snowfall prevented any movement and by then the couple's supplies had run out. Michael decided to activate his Personal Rescue Beacon as a last resort.

A message about a Personal Rescue Beacon (PRB) was activated close to Pingdong La which was received at the Regional Coordination Centre for rescue on Monday. This message was relayed immediately to Western Air Command and the Siachen Pioneers Helicopter unit based at Leh was tasked to investigate.

"Since it was evening and weather in the region did not permit a launch, it was decided to get airborne at day break," the statement said. Two helicopters of the Siachen pioneers got airborne at 6 AM on Tuesday and headed in the probable direction of the PRB. On initial approach they could not find anything.

"We went back to where the footprints had started and worked our way backwards. A little ahead we found a grey protrusion which initially looked like a rock face, but on closer inspection found the edges to be flapping due to wind. Soon Michael came out of the tent, which we thought was a rock and waved to us," the mission leader and commanding officer of the unit said.

The rescued couple have been transferred to a medical facility at Leh and are recuperating well, the air force said.

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Updated Date: Sep 25, 2018 22:12:06 IST