Being adventurous can often bring with it a level of danger. Those who understand this might invest in cool safety gadgets just in case of an emergency.
For one family enjoying snowmobiling in Utah just before the New Year, it was this extra bit of preparation that proved to be literally life-saving when mother nature struck. Kaden Francis vividly remembers the moment he knew there was an avalanche coming.
“It sounded like thunder rolling through the trees,” he told Fox 13 News. “You could hear limbs breaking and trees snapping. It was scary.”
Seeing an avalanche is terrifying, but what is even more scary is seeing a loved one caught up in it.
Kaden quickly realized that his 20-year-old brother Trace had been buried by the snow.
“I called over the radio and said ‘avalanche, avalanche’… Trace is buried,” he said.
But how would they ever find him in the thick snow?
Luckily they had prepared enough to have the proper equipment that was designed just for this sort of situation—Trace had an avalanche airbag.
Kaden knew he could not find his brother, but he could find his avalanche airbag.
“When I finally saw the airbag and it was against the tree, I just, I mean—worst-case scenario is what comes to your mind,” Kaden recalled.
But once he’d seen the airbag, he was able to spot his brother’s head, which was slightly above the snow’s surface. Kaden rushed toward his brother as quickly as he could.
His brother was buried 50 yards away from him up the hill, “but with that deep a snow it felt like it took me an hour to get to him,” Kaden said.
But, despite all of the danger, the only thing that was wrong was Trace’s foot was pinned against a tree by the snowmobile.
Kaden said they tried to move as fast as they could because his leg was in pain, but everything seemed to move so slow.
It took 45 minutes for Kaden, his father, and his uncle to get Trace out of the thick snow.
Thankfully Trace survived the avalanche, walking away from the accident unharmed. Besides this being a miracle, Kaden gives thanks to the avalanche airbag. Without the airbag, his brother would have been completely buried.
“That [avalanche airbag] is what saved his life. He would have been completely under [without it],” said Kaden.