The Bottom Line:

  • Last week in American Fork Canyon, Utah, a group of snowmobilers, including Dustin Sweeten, heroically rescued a fellow snowmobiler trapped in an avalanche.
  • Utilizing beacons, Sweeten and his team located and dug out the man, who was buried several feet under the densely-packed snow.
  • The rescuers warmed the victim with a fire before safely escorting him down the mountain.
  • Source: KSL TV

The Full Story:

Last week in American Fork Canyon, Utah, a group of snowmobilers heroically rescued a fellow snowmobiler trapped in an avalanche. Dustin Sweeten, a seasoned snowmobiler with over 50 years of experience, was out riding in the backcountry with a group including his son, when there was an avalanche in the section of mountain near them. One man was buried by the avalanche and Sweeten and his friends quickly responded.

The rescue operation was intense and urgent, the team used beacons to locate the buried man, who had been under the snow for several minutes. They found him buried with snow packed tightly in his helmet, blocking his airways. Sweeten, who also owns a powersports shop in Utah County, got emotional when he realized the victim was someone he’d known for years. After several more minutes of frantic shoveling of the hard-packed snow, they were able to finally free the man.

The group warmed him with a fire and took two hours to safely escort him down from the mountain. Sweeten’s son later realized that his helmet camera had captured the entire rescue and when they watched the footage, Sweeten couldn’t help but get choked up. “There’s somebody’s husband, somebody’s father, and that could have been me,” he says, “How would I have felt if we were just two minutes too late?” Fortunately, they weren’t and are now being celebrated for saving a life.

(Image: Getty)

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