US paraglider stranded at 4,200 ft in Himachal Pradesh, rescued

Published: Mar 12, 2019, 14:44 IST | PTI

Max Kent McGowan was rescued from Uttarala mountain in Kangra district's Baijnath sub-division by a helicopter rescue team, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sandeep Kumar said.

US paraglider stranded at 4,200 ft in Himachal Pradesh, rescued
Representational image

Shimla: A 64-year-old US national, who got stranded on a snow-covered mountain range in Himachal Pradesh while paragliding, was rescued by a helicopter team Tuesday after being marooned for nearly 40 hours at 4,200 feet, officials said. Max Kent McGowan was rescued from Uttarala mountain in Kangra district's Baijnath sub-division by a helicopter rescue team, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sandeep Kumar said.

Kumar said a local youth, Rahul, was "para dropped from the helicopter and he secured McGowan to be airlifted". The youth stayed back as the helicopter could take one person at a time, he said. Rahul was airlifted by the helicopter on its second sortie, the DC said, adding that the US citizen will be taken for medical check-up to Baijnath. "Kudos to him (Rahul) and the other team members", who helped in rescue the stranded paraglider, he said. McGowan got stranded around 5 pm on Sunday while he was paragliding over the mountain range above Uttarala village. He was rescued Tuesday around 11:45 am, Kumar said. Officials said as per available information, McGowan took off from Bir Billing on Sunday and got stranded at a height of 4,200 meters on the snow-covered Uttarala mountain of the Dhauladhar range. He had to land due to a decrease in pressure on one side of his parachute.

This sent him spinning down and he crashed on the mountain. However, because of a thick layer of fresh snow, he landed safely, they said. On Monday, McGowan communicated his situation through radio to the manager of a hotel where he was staying. The manager, in turn, informed authorities about him, they said, adding that McGowan could only be rescued by deploying a helicopter. The helicopter, however, could not be able to reach Baijnath on Monday due to bad weather, but on Tuesday it reached and rescued the US citizen.

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