/ Pakistan Rescue

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Kimberley 30 Sep 2019
ebdon 30 Sep 2019
In reply to Kimberley:


The article isn't very clear can anyone confirm that everyone has been rescued?

Kimberley 30 Sep 2019

from Anna Piunova via FB

On Saturday, 28th September 2019, a British climbing expedition attempting to summit KOYO ZOM (6872m; highest mountain of the Hindu Raj range) had an accident at around 5900m. Coming down from the summit, the British climber Alastair James Swinton fell down around 30m in a crevasse and sustained a head injury. The other climber with him, Thomas Michael Livingstone managed to miraculously pull Alastair out of the crevasse but reported a serious head injury. 

Pakistan Army Aviation was asked to assist in the evacuation. Owing to a miscommunication from the tour operator (he reported that the casualty was at 3500m instead of 5900m), Pakistan Army sent two helis of the nearest formation to evacuate the casualties. On arrival, the pilots reported that the casualties were actually at 5900m and not at the Base Camp as reported. Landing at 5900m to evacuate Alastair and Thomas required experienced pilots and equipment of 5 Squadron, Pakistan Army Aviation High Altitude Squadron based out of Skardu AAB. The helis of the local formation handed over the mission to 5 Squadron and went back to their base.

The helis used by 5 Squadron, Ecureuil’s altitude is limited by air density, ambiant temperature as well as weight of the aircraft. To climb to such a height, minimum fuel has to be carried for the aircraft to reach 5900m. Just for observation, the place in question is one hour flight time from Gilgit and the aircrafts have to be back at Skardu AAB before night as per Pakistan Army SOP. 

It was decided to set up a fuel dump at Hundur and it would take five hours to place fuel at this place (sent through trucks). 

This morning two Ecureuils of 5 Sqdn took off from Skardu AAB and refueled on their way from Gilgit before arriving at Hundur (at the mouth of Yasin Valley) where a makeshift helipad had been established by the local Army formation (along with a fuel depot). Taking minimum fuel, the formation took off from Hundur and arrived at the coordinates of the standard climbers at slightly above 5900m. The climbers were rapidly spotted very close to a high ridge. The pilots made seven attempts to land; however they couldn’t manage to touch down because of strong wind as well as local geographical features (various crevasses spotted by the pilots). The pilots managed to indicate to the climbers to move around 100m away where there seemed to be open ground, away from the ridge.

The fuel getting low, the formation returned to Hundur and after refueling came back and managed to land at the open space indicates previously by the pilots. The wind had become weaker by then, assisting the evacuation. Alastair was the first one to be evacuated back to Hundur. The helis went back the third time to evacuate Thomas.

The formation then refueled at Hundur before bringing both Alastair and Thomas to Gilgit. Alastair is in the local hospital now and is being reported to be in stable condition.

The evacuation mission today took around six hours.

leon 1 01 Oct 2019
In reply to Kimberley: Thank you for clarifying with that report. Excellent news and superb flying by the Pakistani Air Force (again )

sjminfife 01 Oct 2019
In reply to Kimberley:

I understand from his father that he is doing ok

leon 1 09 Oct 2019
In reply to sjminfife: BBC news report on the trip + rescue today


Post edited at 19:32
Raskye 09 Oct 2019
In reply to leon 1:

You really have to despair about the quality of journalists.... Debbie Jackson basically regurgitated Tom's blog but still managed to f**k it up.... The accident happened on the descent after successfully climbing their new route to the summit.

If you scroll to the bottom of the BBC page there's a link to tell you why 'You can trust the BBC News' LOL!

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.