Snowboarder who was found down in deep powder given CPR

A 27-year old snowboarder was given CPR after suffocation incident. The incident occurred at Whistler Blackcomb over the weekend. The victim has been identified by the province’s coroner service.

Life on the line

The BC Coroners Service identified the snowboarder as Matej Svana who had been living in Whistler at the time and was originally from Slovakia. Svana was found unconscious and unresponsive on Arthur’s Choice, a trail on Blackcomb Mountain.

The RCMP provide more details on Svana’s death including that he was found face-down in the snow with his snowboard strapped to his feet. He has been snowboarding with a partner or friend but the pair had been separated. His companion reported to ski patrol that Svana was missing and he was found by another person who was passing by on the tree-lined trail.

Vancouver first aid

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique that can save lives.

The bystanders called 911 shortly after noon and the ski patrol of the resort was also notified. A member of the public performed CPR on the snowboarder until the arrival of the ski patrol who took over, soon followed by a support team equipped with an AED defibrillator.

Sadly, the efforts could not save Svana’s life and he was declared dead about an hour after being found. RCMP Sgt. Rob Knapton stated that they did not know exactly what happened, but that there was no evidence to suggest that he collapsed with anyone or anything before he was found.

There was a significant amount of snowfall prior to the weekend which resulted to a lot of loose snow which has the opportunity for some people to sink into it depending on how one enters. Knapton stated that if the boarder entered the snow face-first in an area where it hadn’t been packed own, there would be a chance that the ended up stuck.

Since it was so early in the season, just days after the resort opened, most of the snow on the hills was unpacked. The death of the snowboarder prompted a warning from police to those heading out on the hills.

Timely delivery of CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique that can save lives. It is an essential skill that can significantly improve the chances of survival during emergencies.

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Learn how to help by enrolling in a CPR class and for more information, check out these sources:

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