High-adrenaline sports such as skiing are so much fun precisely because there is an element of risk in taking part. While most of the time a minor injury is all that is expected, it’s worth remembering that each year around 100 people are killed on the Alps.
But if you are one of the unlucky ones, here’s a quick tick-list of what to do if you do have an accident.
Assess your situation
OK, so the accident has happened and you’ve survived - the worst is over. Step back and work out exactly what has just occurred and why. Think carefully about the next course of action because it could be decisive in getting you out of the situation you find yourself in; if you take the wrong course, it could make it worse. Choose your actions carefully and perform each task with control.
Treat any injuries
You could be injured, so check your body by feeling your arms, legs, head and torso with your hands, noting any painful or tender areas or blood. Keep pressure on any wounds that are bleeding and try not to move too much. Preserve your energy, but be prepared to help others who are injured if you can. Communicate with whoever is around you and come up with a plan together.
Call for help
Once you have stabilised the situation you’ll need to get outside help to come and rescue you and your party. If you have a mobile phone with reception dial 112 and you’ll be connected with an English-speaking operator who will be able to get emergency help to you and advise you on what to do.
If you have no means of using a telephone use whatever equipment you have to make sure you are as visible as possible. Exhaust all other possibilities before sending anyone away to get help.
Keep yourself warm
Make sure your body is fully out of the snow and under some kind of shelter if at all possible. Repair any damage to your clothing as best you can and huddle together with your companions to share your body heat.
Move around regularly to keep blood flowing and stay warm. If it starts to snow, create shelter from whatever you have available and sit tight and wait for help to arrive.
Deal with the paperwork
Once you are rescued and have access to medical treatment you’re going to need to clarify your legal and financial position. Co-operative Legal Services lawyers will be able to help you deal with this unexpected issue.
Whatever the situation, you can be assured that help is at hand - particularly if you have to make a Co-op Personal Injury claim.