Italy celebrates the rescue of a 31-year-old climber. The young man was stuck in a rock crevice for a week without provisions until a fire brigade helicopter finally found him.

There wasn’t much hope anymore – but after a week a dramatic rescue mission in Italy has found a happy ending. Seven days after his disappearance, rescuers pulled Gianpaolo Baggio out of a crevice – alive and without major injuries.

The 31-year-old mountain lover set out alone last Saturday for a hiking and climbing tour on Mount Matajur near the border with Slovenia. He slipped and fell into a crevice in the rock. Although he sustained only minor injuries in the fall, he was unable to climb the steep wall to free himself.

Backpack with provisions and equipment lost

In addition, he had lost his backpack with food and drink, clothing and mobile phone in the fall. He could only drink water from a trickle that flowed naturally through the rocks. The worst was the cold at night, Baggio reported after his rescue. He wore only light clothing and shorts and covered himself with leaves at night.

After his disappearance, rescue workers had searched for days in vain for the route that Baggio wanted to take. Mountain rescue, fire brigade and carabinieri were involved in the search. But even search dogs on the ground and drones in the air were initially unable to track down the trained engineer. Finally, a fire brigade helicopter discovered the missing person in the crevice – about 100 meters from the actual route.

A photo published by the fire department on Twitter shows the young man sitting in the rescue helicopter with his thumbs up. “He’s got a few bruises, he’s dehydrated but he’s alive and they’re taking him to a hospital,” local mayor Camillo Melissa said, according to Corriere della Sera. “A big and heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped with the search, including the local volunteers.”

Sources: Corriere della Sera / Rai / Udine Today / Fire Department