The survivor said that the drones used to irritate him, but no more.
The well-known British climber, winner of the “Golden Icebreaker” Rick Allen (Rick Allen) rescued from the mountain peak Broad Peak (part of the mountain system of the Himalayas) in Pakistan due to the drone. The 65-year-old man was believed dead after his fall from the icy cliff during a solitary ascension at an altitude of about eight thousand meters.
After all at the appointed time, Allen did not return to the base camp, his colleagues began to prepare for the worst. “A number of people evaluated the situation and came to the conclusion that I’m not going to return,” the mountaineer said. And his friend Sandy Allan (Sandy Allan) was convinced that he was dead.
After 36 hours after the incident, a cook from Japan noticed near the camp Allen’s backpack and suggested that the lost climber might be somewhere nearby. Two brothers from Poland – Bartek and Andrzej Bargiel (Bartek, Andrzej Bargiel) came to the rescue. They were in the base camp near the neighboring mountain peak of Chogori to try to become the fastest people who climbed it. With them, they had a drone DJI Mavic Pro, which they wanted to use to fly around the mountain slopes.
I had a drone, but so that it could fly at such heights, I had to reprogram it [according to the site DJI Mavic Pro can climb to a height of up to five thousand meters].
Soon the drone found a wounded Allen, hiding on a slope at an altitude of about eight thousand meters. Bargely used the obtained data to send rescuers, Sherpas (local residents) and fellow climbers to the place. The lost climber was returned to the base camp, and then evacuated by helicopter for treatment.
He was very lucky that he did not fall below. Since the breakdown, it has slid down the slope for 300 meters. At first we thought he was dead, because Rick did not move. But after a while we noticed that the position of his body changed, and then saw that he pulled something out of his backpack.
We continued to watch him. After a while he tried to get up and walk down the hill. But he was able to make only two steps and fell with his belly on the snow.
When I first sent the drone to Rick, he saw him, and, as he later told me, felt that he was already aware of his distress in the base camp and the help was close.
Allen said that before this test he treated the drones with irritation because of the sound of their motors. “But it changed my perception for them,” the mountaineer admitted. He noted that the drone’s assistance was “significant” because it allowed his friends to see him and make sure he was still alive. According to him, this “gave everyone hope.”
Now Allen is in the hospital with several bruises, cuts and frostbite. It is reported that his life is not in danger. According to friends, he was able to survive thanks to “his iron willpower.”
Rick Allen became widely known to the world as a climber (paired with Allan), who in 2012 made the first ever complete passage of the Mazeno ridge in Pakistan. For this they were awarded the most prestigious in the world mountaineering awards – the “Golden Ice Ax”.