Tourist who jumped from Gudauri ski lift shares his own story by defending resort administration
20 March, 2018
Tourist who jumped from Gudauri ski lift shares his own story by defending resort administration
On March 16, the ski lift Sadzele 5 in Gudauri winter resort went out of control when the holidaymakers were skiing. Several tourists were injured due to the breakdown of ski lift in Georgia’s one of the most popular winter resorts.
Damaged ski lift Sadzele 5 in Gudauri

Some of the tourists involved in the incident took to social media to tell what happened at the ropeway and defend Georgia's reputation as a safe place to visit.
Ski lift in
Gudauri. Photo courtesy

Rustam Ibragimov, a Russian tourist who had to jump from the damaged ski lift to save himself, is one of them. He published an extensive status on his Facebook page, defending the resort's administration from those accusing them of carelessness.
Gudauri is one of the most popular ski resorts in Georgia

“With respect to cable accident in Gudauri, I decided also to provide my own feedback, since unlike many mass media or in-cabinet analysts, I personally was on place, witnessed the accident and had to react on it by jumping from the ski lift,” Ibragimov says in his public status.
Skiing in Gudauri. Photo courtesy Anatoly Lebedinsky

Here is what the Russian tourist says about the Friday’s incident in Gudauri:

“Indeed, for some reason both brake systems of the ski lift went out of control and failed to work. The cable man who works at the ski lift was not able to do anything more.
Gudauri ski resort

As I felt, the ski lift suddenly started moving in reverse. Some of the skiers managed to react quickly and properly and jumped from the ski lift to avoid collision with the next ski-lift. Those who jumped closer to the start of the ski lift were less lucky.”
Skiing in Gudauri. Photo courtesy Anatoly Lebedinsky

According to Ibragimov, luckily a day before the accident there was some snow in Gudauri, hence, the slopes of the mountains were relatively soft. He personally had to jump off from a height of eight meters at substantially high speed.

As the witness of the accident recalls, “it was scary but there was no other way out”.
Tourists enjoying skiing in Gudauri. Photo courtesy Anatoly Lebedinsky

The tourist said that the rescuers worked fast and professionally. He personally participated in the rescue operation and helped those who needed emergency treatment.

“After prompt evacuation, another group of rescuers and volunteers came in on ratracks (snow leveling vehicles) to the top of the mountain to help people who were still hanging in the air to get off the cable. All groups worked professionally and fast. People were grateful to the rescue workers. Entire operation took a total of 1.5 hours. I myself, also asisted a group of rescuers to speed up the process (asked people to dump the ski equipment, collected and packed it, pointed pick-up location, worked with cord to avert tangling and so that rescuers could have been focused on their direct work, and other stuff)," Rustam Ibragimov explains.
Gudauri. Photo courtesy Anatoly Lebedinsky

According to the witness and tourist, the ski resort administration reacted promptly to the accident and they did their best.

"The summary: the brake system did not work and why, we do not know now. The ski resort administration reacted promptly on accident and they worked at 200%.
Ski lifts in Gudauri

Now there is a lot of misinformation going on, and my request would be not to spread it. No need to panic. The Georgian government provides assistance to the injured," he said.

It is also noteworthy that another Russian tourist, Oleg Vitrov, injured in the ski lift accident after being discharged from the clinic returned to Gudauri resort to enjoy skiing again.
Despite the incident, Gudauri continues working as usual

The health condition of the tourists injured in Gudauri improved. Most patients have already been discharged from the hospital.
The health condition of the tourists injured in Gudauri improved

Despite the incident, Gudauri continues working as usual and receives tourists. Most of the tourists remain on the resort. At this stage, the skiers are allowed at all skiing tracks, except for the damaged Sadzele ropeway section.

Related stories:

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Independent international experts arrive in Gudauri to investigate ski-lift accident

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