Co-Owner of the SEABA heli ski company in Haines, Alaska, 40-year-old Scott Sundberg, was caught in an avalanche on Wednesday morning, fully buried, and injured. Sundberg was reportedly unconscious when he was initially dug out of the avalanche but quickly regained consciousness on his own. Sundberg received non-life-threatening injuries in the avalanche.
“The really good part about this and a really good take-a-way is yes, they were in the backcountry. An avalanche was triggered. But there were other people on the scene. They had proper safety equipment. They were able to quickly locate the person and transport him to help and the person appears to be OK.” – Alaska State Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters
The Freeride World Tour (FWT) has selected SEABA as their helicopter outfit for their Alaska competition this month. Sundberg was performing a ski cut while scouting for the FWT when the avalanche occurred. Sundberg was with FWT organizers at the time of the avalanche. They were scouting locations for the event they are hoping to pull off this Saturday. The event is scheduled to continue as planned.
The competition will include 36 athletes from all over the world and 100 staff.
SEABA has had some major issues in the past 3 years:
– In 2014, SEABA guide Aaron Karitis died in an avalanche while guiding in Haines.
– In 2013, another SEABA guide, Christian Arcadio Cabanilla, died when a cornice gave way on him and 2 of his clients. The two clients received non-life threatening injuries. This accident occurred on federal lands where SEABA was illegally operating.
– In 2013, SEABA was fined over $20,000 for using federal land outside of their permit zone as a result of Cabanilla dying on federal land. The feds found that of the 78 days SEABA operated in 2012 & 2013, 54 of those days were operated on illegal lands.