27. 06. 12. - 17:28
300 deaths each year in the Austrian mountains
by Lisa Walzel
Representatives of the 'Alpingipfel' (Alpine summit) held by the Austrian Alpine Service in Puchberg am Schneeberg have called for more safety in Alpine regions.
Each year an average of 300 people die in the Austrian mountains while performing outdoor activities, they say.
The alpine police, mountain rescue service, Interior Ministry and the board of trustees for alpine security say there should be more awareness of the dangers of outdoor activities.
From November 1, 2010 to October 31, 2011 there were 8,287 accidents registered which is the highest in 20 years.
The chairman of the board of trustees, Karl Gabl, said that 30 per cent of the deadly accidents happen while hiking - the main reasons are internal emergencies, stumbling and falling. Some 90 per cent of victims are men.
According to Mr Gabl, each year the board of trustees researches accidents and analyses them.
They found out that one of the most significant factors of accidents in the mountains is the weather.
Each year around 400 people get lost or are reported as missing in the mountains, which often results in expensive helicopter search operations.
The head of the alpine service, Colonel Franz Ebner, said that such incidents could be prevented by notifying a destination and time schedule to the staff of the accommodation or relatives, and by taking a cell phone.
Although hiking is connected to severe risks and dangers, outdoor activities are gaining more and more popularity, according to the vice president of the Austrian mountain rescue service, Robert Weiss.