BRITISH COLUMBIA

Tom Oye, Snowboarder Swept In B.C. Avalanche, Survives Thanks To His Backpack

01/13/2017 09:17 EST | Updated 01/13/2017 09:17 EST

That was close.

A snowboarder is lucky to be alive and well after getting swept up in an avalanche in Whistler, B.C. this week.

Tom Oye, who is originally from Australia, shared video of the rough ride Wednesday, captured by a camera mounted on his helmet.

The viral Facebook video shows Oye being knocked off his feet as the snow beneath him crumbles. The horrifying experience could have easily injured, or killed him. But Oye was saved by an inflatable backpack his family and friends gifted him.

Such backpacks work like an airbag in a vehicle, and can be inflated in case of an emergency. Oye posted about his new gear on Facebook last December.

"The idea is to make you the biggest object and tumble you to the top in a big slide," he wrote, adding it would also create an "air pocket" and help him breathe if he was buried under snow.

Oye demonstrated in a Facebook video:

In the post, he thanked his loved ones for the present. He's likely even more grateful now.

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