His cellphone saved him. Yes, a British skier, who slipped into a crevasse in the Swiss Alps, was saved from plunging nearly 700 feet to his death by his ‘Blackberry´ mobile phone.
David Fitzherbert’s half-inch wide mobile handset in his breast pocket caused him to get wedged in a crack of ice, stopping him from falling further. And, incredibly, the device still worked after keeping him stuck for almost two hours till he was rescued.
The 52-year-old finance worker was skiing off-piste down a glacier in the Matterhorn and Monterosa peaks in the Swiss Alps when the snow gave way.
“The snow gave way beneath me and I fell down a very deep crevasse. After 70 feet it narrowed and I became stuck like a cork in a bottle between the walls. Fortunately the extra inches of the Blackberry were enough to block the fall,” Fitzherbert told British tabloid The Sun.
He broke his jaw, smashed his teeth, cracked a bone in his chest and nearly tore his nose off. His mountain guide made a distress call, and a mountain rescue team came to dig him out.
“I was stuck so fast they had to get a drill to dig away at the ice around me. I was eventually winched out by the helicopter rescue team,” Fitzherbert said.
He was flown to hospital suffering extreme hypothermia and concussion in Swiss capital Bern where surgeons reattached his nose. He spent ten days in hospital, using the Blackberry to call his wife in the UK.
“It was still working well enough for me to tell her I was alive. I couldn’t believe it,” he said.