Found alive after three days on Swiss glacier, the speedflyer who landed with a bump

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The Independent Online

An extreme sports fan has been found alive on a glacier three days after going missing while "speedflying" down Swiss mountains with friends.

Nabik Daniel Hunt, 33, disappeared on Saturday after failing to reach the agreed landing spot in the Lauter-brunnen mountain valley.

Friends said that Mr Hunt, who is an experienced speedflyer, had taken off well from Jungfraujoch at a height of 11,333ft and they did not understand what had gone wrong. They reported him missing when he did not arrive after an hour.

Police launched a search party but did not manage to locate him.

Frantic friends and family, who knew time was of the essence, started a fundraising drive to pay for a helicopter, dogs and expert mountaineering teams to search for him after his insurance company refused to pay out. They raised £12,000 in 24 hours, and £14,000 in total and eight experts flew to Switzerland to help.

Yesterday Mr Hunt, who owns the Natural Food Store in Turnham Green, west London, was spotted at the bottom of the gorge 40ft wide and 150ft deep. He had sheltered in a cave. Rescuers, friends and four German Mountain Infantry Officers lowered themselves into the gorge and secured him in a harness, pulling him to safety. A helicopter later picked him up and he was taken to hospital to be assessed for injuries after spending three nights in freezing conditions.

Speedflying is similar to paragliding and flyers can reach speeds of 75mph.

Nadeem Al-Khafaji, a close friend of Mr Hunt, who helped rescue him, said: "He is in good spirits and is overwhelmingly fine."

Mr Hunt, from Shepherd's Bush, said in a message to friends and family: "I am so grateful, touched, and humbled by all the help. Thank you from the bottom of my heart".

Yesterday afternoon friends posted on a Facebook page set up to highlight his plight: "Dan is found!!! He is well, walking, and smiling!!!! Thank you everyone for being such great support."His long-term girlfriend, Nadia Niznanska, said: "We are all ecstatic, relieved and overjoyed. The nightmare is finally over. I never stopped believing he was okay. He's such a trooper."

Best friend Pedro Pimentel said: "This is the best day of my life. I was trying to be positive but also fearing the worst. I have been a climber for 20 years and in these situations you have to keep going."

Swiss police confirmed that an unidentified man had been found.