HANSON, MA (WHDH) — A Massachusetts high school student miraculously survived a fall of more than 200 feet down a mountain in Lucerne, Switzerland.
While hiking Mt. Pilatus on the first day of a 10-day school trip, the Whitman-Hanson Regional High School student lost his footing near the summit, resulting in a frightening 250-foot tumble.
“He said he was taking photographs with his phone when he lost his footing and started to slide. When he picked up speed, he started to tumble,” Middleborough Fire Chief Lance Benjamino said.
Benjamino was one of the parents on the trip who accompanied the students. Fortunately, he was familiar with conducting a rescue.
With the help of the tour guide, Benjamino said he was able to overcome a language barrier and inform rescue crews on exactly what equipment was needed to save the student.
The area in which the student fell was accessible to the school’s group, but normally used by more experience hikers. Benjamino climbed down to him, slipping some 100 feet himself.
The student was found with several cuts and could not walk, but was said to be conscious. Benjamino loaded the boy onto a board and hoisted him to safety. But due to dense fog, a medical helicopter was unable to access their location.
Benjamino lugged the student to an area where he could evacuated for treatment. “If it was my child, I just hope that somebody would do the same,” he said. “I just did what I though we should do.”
Despite the scare, the student’s prognosis is said to be excellent and he is expected to make a full recovery. He has since been escorted back to the United States and is safely home with his family.
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