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Wash. snowmobiler buried alive in avalanche, survives

January 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A dramatic rescue was caught on camera in Washington state. A snowmobiler got caught in an avalanche, and was buried alive.

John Swanson and a group of friends were making tracks in the snow, when the avalanche cut loose. In a matter of seconds, Swanson was buried. He said he couldn't move and was suffocating in the snow.

His friends knew exactly where he was and started digging him out.

"They knew where I went, that was the saving grace," said Swanson. "They started digging that area."

"And once his head was out, I was a lot more relieved," said friend Rick Jablinske. "He was saying, 'get me out, get me out.'"

Swanson is back home and doing okay. He said he's very thankful to be alive.