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12 December 2012

UPDATE*** British snowboarder dies five days after Chamonix accident

Emily Watts has passed away following several days on a life-support machine

Mimi Watts

UPDATE*** British snowboarder Emily Watts has died five days after a tragic snowboarding accident at the Grand Montets ski area in the Chamonix Valley. She had been on life-support since Saturday, when she crashed into a snowdrift on the side of a piste, suffering cardiac arrest.

The family met with rescuers this week to get a clearer picture of what happened, and discovered it was a British man who had raised the alarm. Watts caught an edge while snowboarding on the Pierre a Ric run, and was catapulted from the groomed run into a 70cm snowdrift, landing in a spot that was very difficult to see from the piste.

Emily Watts is on a life-support machine after falling into a snowdrift at the Grand Montets ski area in the Chamonix Valley on Saturday 8 December. Starved of oxygen, the young women had suffered cardiac arrest by the time emergency crews arrived, prompting fears of brain damage. It is now understood that she is unlikely to recover.

The 26 year-old snowboarder from Lavenham, Suffolk, was riding at the Grand Montets area on the opening day of the season, having travelled to Chamonix to work in the resort for the winter. The accident reportedly occurred just after 4pm and just metres from a red run. She was an experienced snowboarder.

The exact circumstances that led to the fall, causing Emily (known as 'Mimi') to become stuck in a snowdrift for 45 minutes, are not entirely clear. She was treated by emergency crew at the scene and taken to hospital in Annecy before being transferred to a specialist unit, however the duration of time that the mountain-loving design student was without oxygen has dimmed expectations of her making a recovery.

Our thoughts are with Emily's parents and brother, who have flown to France to be by her bedside.

Comments

  • Date: 14 December 2012
  • Tragic. Condolences to her family.

Aidan Beggan
Aidan Beggan
  • Date: 03 January 2013
  • I have skied the Pierre a Ric run many times and my thoughts are with the family.

Peter Cowen
Peter Cowen

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