Dutch Prince Johan Friso Involved in Avalanche at Austrian Ski Area

Posted By: The Ski Channel on February 17, 2012 2:39 pm

The Dutch Prince Johan Friso has been involved in an avalanche on Friday while skiing in Austria at the Lech Ski Area. It was reported that he was skiing off-trail when the snow mass approximately 100 feet wide overtook Friso and buried him alive. The Prince was under the mass of snow for at least 20 minutes before being dug-out by rescuers. After being recovered, he was immediately airlifted to the intensive care unit of an Innsbruck hospital.

While his condition remains unclear, officials within the Dutch government issued a report detailing, ” his condition is stable but not out of danger. They went on to add that “doctors treating him will only be able to give a prognosis in a matter of days.”

The accident occurred while the Prince was skiing with three friends at the Lech Ski Area, early Friday afternoon. The group strayed from the marked trail to ride some side-country terrain, which had been hit by record snowfall over the course of the past week. Lech officials had issued a regional avalanche warning earlier in the day denoting the severity as a “four” on the five-point scale — translating to significant danger levels.

The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte issued a statement that was aired across the country explaining the situation going forward, ”There’s nothing more (to say) than that the best doctors are there,” he said. “Austria naturally has very good medical care, we are fully confident in them — but further we really just have to wait.”

We will continue to update the situation as more information become available.