Hero dogs bark to alert rescuers to hikers trapped in avalanche

Two people caught in an avalanche in Switzerland were rescued after their dogs barked for help.

The hikers were swept off a trail in the deluge at the Avers Valley in southwestern Switzerland, near the Italian border on Saturday.

One was buried entirely, and only the hands of the other were visible.

The dogs managed to attract the attention of nearby snow-shoers who were able to dig them out and save their lives.

A spokesperson for the Swiss air ambulance service Rega said: “Their dogs, who were not buried by the masses of snow, drew attention to themselves by barking loudly.

“They alerted a group of snow-shoers who were some distance away in the same valley but had not witnessed the avalanche.”

Roughly 15-20 minutes after the avalanche, the group was at the scene, where one of the avalanche victims’ hands was
visible; the other person was buried entirely, Rega said.

Both were dug out slightly injured and had mild hypothermia. They were taken to hospital.

Rega did not say how many dogs were involved or what breed they were.

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