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Bra missive saves American hiker missing in Bavarian Alps

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Bra missive saves American hiker missing in Bavarian Alps
Photo: DPA
18:22 CEST+02:00
Rescue workers in the Bavarian Alps have saved an American hiker who had been missing for 70 hours in a dramatic helicopter operation after she sent a signal with her sports bra.

The 24-year-old woman from Colorado, Jessica Bruinsma, had hung her sports bra on a timber transport cable in the Berchtesgaden region near the Austrian border in hopes that someone would find her, police chief Adolph Günther told The Local on Friday.

"She was saved because she was really clever and in good physical shape," Günther said.

A worker on the timber transport discovered her sports bra hooked on the cable midday on Thursday, realized it probably belonged to the woman who had been reported missing on Monday, and immediately called the authorities. She was found just a few hours later as a helicopter circled the area and saw her waving from a 1,250-metre crag. Rescue workers staged a dramatic rescue, plucking her off the crag with a helicopter and taking her to a hospital in the valley below.

Between 60 and 80 emergency workers and five helicopters were involved in the search and rescue operation, Günther said.

Bruinsma had been on a day hike on Monday, but lost her way as the weather turned bad, Günther said. She didn't have any supplies with her, but she was able to get water when she broke open a supply box along the timber cable line. At some point, Günther said she fell five to six metres and sustained minor injuries to her shoulder, ankle and head, but is doing well considering the circumstances.

Both of Bruinsma's parents are with her in the hospital and she is expected to recover quickly, Günther said.

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