Australian family found alive at Nozawa Onsen thanks to Facebook

By on
White House Facebook Messenger
A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. Reuters/Dado Ruvic

An Australian woman and her three sons have been found after they were reported missing in Japan. They were rescued after sending a message on Facebook saying they were lost and dug a snow cave to survive. The family was found on Tuesday near the summit of the mountain at Nozawa Onsen.

A representative for the Nagano prefectural police said the skiers were taken to a nearby hospital. It is believed that none of the four, whose names have not been made available for the public, has been seriously injured.

Meanwhile, Nozawa Onsen took to its official Facebook page to spread the good news. It also has expressed gratitude to the team at Ski Patrol. “A strong message to everyone on the slopes at the moment to be very careful with more heavy snow again overnight,” the Facebook post reads.

Authorities have earlier declared that the family could be near the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 1,600 metres. Their search was made easier through a Facebook post intended to call for help. Police said they have received a call from a relative of the family who has been contacted by one of the missing skiers through the social media site.

The woman in her 50s and her sons, believed to be in their 20s, were declared missing when they failed to return from the mountains by 6PM on Monday. The ABC reported that the search for the missing family was resumed on Tuesday morning, (local time) the same day when they were found.

According to a local weather report on Sunday, a severe blizzard had caused the snow to be deeper than the head-high in parts. Even Nozawa Onsen has warned about the situation though its website. “Don’t head off-piste as there are some extremely unstable layers and the likelihood of becoming stuck is an almost certainty,” the report on the Nozawa Onsen Guide website said.