Twitter and iPhone help find lost skier

A "crowdsourced" Twitter request for the phone numbers of two missing skiers and GPS tracking of their iPhones leads to the rescue of one. The other was found dead.

In a bittersweet conclusion, a missing skier in the Swiss Alps was rescued with the help of Twitter and an iPhone, but it appears that his fellow skiing companion was found deceased after the two were separated from the rest of their group.

Tracking Twitter search for the term "verbier" (the region of the Alps where the two went missing) has brought much of the news together.

Blogger Robin Blandford of ByteSurgery.com rounded up some of the messages: one member of the ski trip Twittered that two members of the group were missing, and another posted a tweet requesting the cell phone numbers of the missing skiers to attempt to contact them. From what it looks like, the GPS coordinates of their iPhones were used to pinpoint their location, but when one of them was found alive, he had become separated from his companion.

The Swiss news source Le Nouvelliste reported on Tuesday that, unfortunately, the second skier had been found deceased.

Blandford updated his blog post to say that the two skiers worked for a start-up called Dolphin Music, and that a number of other tech entrepreneurs were in the same British ski group.

UPDATE at 8:53 a.m. PST: We have more information, and in English now, thanks to the U.K.-based Evening Standard. The two missing skiers were actually on snowboards, and have been identified as Jason Tavaria and Rob Williams, the 29-year-old co-founders of Dolphin Music.

Tavaria was found alive after he was located with GPS on his iPhone, but Williams was found dead, and according to the Evening Standard, had fallen about 66 feet and landed on rocks.

Blizzard conditions at Verbier had made the search and rescue process difficult.

 

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