Bruno Tissier thought that he was going out for a standard ski trip to the French Alps, but when the first-timer suffered a knee injury at an altitude of at least 6,500 feet, he ended up the star of a viral video.
Said video, taken by Nicolas Derely, the father of one of Tissier’s ski companions, shows the amazing rescue that followed the group’s desperate cry for help. A crew of gendarmes flying by helicopter navigated the dangerous slopes of one of the world’s largest mountain ranges in order to save the injured teenager. The maneuvering alone shows massive skill, with the pilots managing to glide just above the vertical cliffs of snow, their propellers looking any moment like they are about to cleave to the mountain and send the helicopter hurtling off course.
Derely shared his story in a Facebook post, explaining the terrifying, then exhilarating experience, and thanking the brave men who answered the call of duty.