55-year-old Kris Minne from Mechelen, who was rescued from the Austrian Alps last week, still remains in the hospital of Schwaz, in Tyrol. The mountaineer is not yet sufficiently equipped to tell his story, but he responded briefly to the Austrian photo agency ‘Zoom. Tyrol’. In the meantime, he also received a visit from his two rescuers. “Those men saved my life. I will never forget them.”
Kris was on a brisk hike through the Karwendel Mountains in Austria when his brother, Jef Minne, suddenly lost all contact. Jef was so worried that he alerted the local police. A major search and rescue operation was then mounted. After three nights, the emergency services found the Malinois again. Kris spent a total of three days and three nights in the freezing cold.
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He hurt his foot and was taken to Schwaz hospital with symptoms of hypothermia, where he is still recovering. His condition is stable, but he will have to recover for some time.
“It could be over soon”
Kris also received a visit from his two rescuers. “I am still moved when I see them,” the Mechelaar tells the photo agency. “Those men saved my life. I will never forget them. I am also very grateful for the friendly and professional care I receive here. The warmth and attention are extraordinary and exemplary.”
Despite the intense experience, Kris remains positive about the mountains. “It remains one of the most beautiful mountain areas in Europe. I invite everyone to discover it for themselves. Nature is overwhelming and before my rescue I enjoyed a wonderful walking holiday.”
“Surrounded by lovely people”
“I hope that my story will also bring a little ‘good news’ to many. I can only say that I am doing well mentally, knowing that I am surrounded by so many lovely people.” Kris realizes that he was lucky. “Enjoy life and the beauty of the little things every day, because it can be over soon.”