Busy winter for air rescue services

Switzerland's leading air rescue organisation, Rega, recorded a marked increase in relief efforts last year - notably during the winter months.

This content was published on April 3, 2008 - 16:13

The organisation, which is part of the Swiss Red Cross, said the favourable weather conditions attracted a growing number of people to the mountains for outdoor activities, involving paragliding.

Rega helicopters flew a total of 9,949 rescue missions, including nearly 1,000 repatriations.

The services were also called in to deal with road accidents or work-related incidents.

In a related development, the Swiss Alpine Club says 123 people were killed in the mountains last year, including 22 who died in avalanches.

It added that its guides assisted a total of 2,154 people who got into difficulty hiking, off-piste skiing and snow-shoeing.

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