Snow-shoers in the same valley were able to find the submerged people after hearing the barks.

By Austin Cannon
February 01, 2021
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dog on snowy mountain
Credit: Tobias / Adobe Stock

Here's another reason dogs make great hiking companions: Some dogs may have saved the lives of two people who were buried by an avalanche in Switzerland over the weekend. 

Reuters reported that the avalanche dragged the pair off a hiking trail in the Avers Valley—near Switzerland's southwest border with Italy—around 3 p.m. on Saturday. 

"Their dogs, who were not buried by the masses of snow, drew attention to themselves by barking loudly," a statement from air ambulance service Rega read. The company didn't disclose how many dogs were present or their breeds. 

A group of nearby snow-shoers heard the barking. According to Rega, they were unaware an avalanche had occurred. The snow-shoers reached the submerged people only 15–20 minutes after the avalanche. One person was completely buried while the other had one hand visible.

The snow-shoers dug them out. Both had minor injuries and were suffering from minor hypothermia. A Rega helicopter then arrived and flew them to a hospital.