Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Paraglider Is Sucked 32,000ft into Storm; World at a Glance / Woman, 35, Is Saved by Her Blackout

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Paraglider Is Sucked 32,000ft into Storm; World at a Glance / Woman, 35, Is Saved by Her Blackout

Article excerpt

Byline: ROB SINGH

A GERMAN paraglider had a incredible escape after flying unconscious for nearly an hour covered in ice when a storm pulled her to an altitude higher than Mount Everest.

Ewa Wisnierska, 35, survived lightning, hail, minus 40-degree temperatures and oxygen deprivation during her ordeal. At one point she passed out, reaching an altitude of 32,000 feet - near the cruising height of a jumbo jet.

Ms Wisnierska says experience told her she had no chance of survival, but a doctor told her that blacking out had saved her.

She said: "It was because I got unconscious, because then the heart slows down all the functions. It saved my life."

Describing the violence of the storm in Australia, she said: "You can't imagine the power - you feel like nothing, like a leaf from a tree going up.

"I was shaking all the time - the last thing I remember it was dark, I could hear lightning all around me."

She added: "I knew I was in the middle of the thunderstorm and I could not do anything-From the theory, I knew the chances to survive are almost zero, I knew I can only have luck, I can't do anything - and I got it. …

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