Terrifying footage snowmobiler digging his friend out of an avalanche

Snowmobiler is saved from certain death by friend who dug him out of Wyoming avalanche as he gasped for breath

  • John Sievers, 24, was engulfed, with only a flailing arm sticking out of the snow
  • With the buried snowmobiler minutes from suffocation, his friend rescued him
  • Mr Sievers said his avalanche bag, a safety device, had not been set up properly
  • It took between 10 and 15 minutes to completely dig Mr Sievers out of the snow

This is the moment a snowmobiler narrowly avoided suffocating to death under an avalanche when he was pulled out by his friend.

The video, recorded on January 2 in Jackson, Wyoming, shows snowmobiler John Sievers get buried under a snow slide. 

His companion, Jason Rubio, springs into action, riding his snowmobile down the hill after Mr Sievers.

John Sievers was completely buried by an avalanche while out riding his snowmobile in Wyoming on January 2, only surviving the incident due to his fast-acting friend

When Mr Rubio gets to his friend’s position, he finds him almost completely submerged, with just a flailing arm poking out from the white, asphyxiating blanket of snow. 

After Mr Rubio uncovers his friend’s head, muffled cries of desperation can be heard, as the smothered snowmobiler struggles for breath.

In seconds, Mr Sievers’ helmet is prised off his head, and he sucks cold air into his lungs, looking shaken by the near-death experience.

Jason Rubio spots that his friend has been buried by the snow and tears down the hill after him

In a Facebook post later that same day, Mr Sievers wrote: ‘Scariest experience of my life. Thank God Jason Rubio was right there. 

‘Definitely could’ve been a different ending. I’m very thankful to walk away from this.

‘My avalanche bag didn’t work I pulled the handle like my life depended on it and it didn’t deploy.’

The 24-year-old added: ‘#SorryMom’.

In a subsequent post on his Facebook, Mr Sievers explained how his failure to properly set up his avalanche bag caused his brush with death.

An avalanche bag inflates at the pull of a cord, dragging the wearer to the surface after being buried by snow – reducing the risk of suffocation.

It took between 10 and 15 minutes to totally remove all the snow that had trapped Mr Sievers

Mr Sievers explained: ‘The bag failed to deploy because I didn’t attach the trigger cable correctly. 

‘Please make sure you take the time to install your canisters completely and correctly learn from my simple mistake that almost cost me my life.’ 

The footage ends with Mr Sievers still totally buried in snow. Mr Rubio said it took between 10 and 15 minutes to fully dig him out from what could have been his snow tomb. 

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