Dutch prince 'still not out of danger'

2012-02-18 14:25


The Hague - Prince Johan Friso, son of Dutch Queen Beatrix has spent a "calm night" in an Austrian hospital, but was still not out of danger Saturday after being seriously injured in an avalanche while skiing.

Austrian prosecutors added they have launched a probe into Friday's accident in the western Austrian ski resort of Lech in which the 43-year-old prince was seriously injured.

"He is still not out of danger, but spent a calm and stable night," in the intensive care unit at Innsbruck University Hospital, the Dutch Royal House said in a statement, issued in The Hague.

Prince Friso was skiing off piste with an unnamed Austrian friend, according to varying Austrian media reports a 42-year-old hotel director, around noon on Friday when the accident happened near Lech where the Dutch royal family traditionally take their winter holidays.

Despite wearing a ski-helmet and an avalanche beeper, the prince nevertheless spent some 20 minutes under the snow before he was rescued and had to be resuscitated, Austrian news reports said. He was evacuated to Innsbruck by helicopter.

"The doctors who are treating him said there was no change in his situation," the statement added, but did not give details about his injuries. Doctors would only be able to make a prognosis "within a few days," it said Friday.

Queen Beatrix, 74, as well as the prince's wife Mabel Wisse Smit were joined on Friday night by other members of the Dutch royal family including Johan Friso's brothers, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, his wife Maxima, and younger brother Prince Constantijn with his wife Princess Laurentien.

The Dutch royals regularly spend their ski holidays in the posh resort of Lech, in the westernmost province of Vorarlberg.

Meanwhile Austrian prosecutors announced they would investigate the accident.

Prosecutors, who already began gathering information on Friday, will examine among other things who or what set off the avalanche, but Austrian police added the probe was carried out in every accident of this kind.

At the time of the accident, the avalanche level in Lech - as in much of Austria - was at four, the second highest.

The accident dominated headlines in the Dutch media on Saturday.

"Friso's condition critical," wrote the left-leaning daily De Volkskrant, saying he was being kept in a coma in hospital.

"Friso is a very experienced skier and knows the area around Lech very well," the paper said, while columnist Bert Wagendorp in the same paper wrote: "I am not a supporter of the Royal Dutch House nor have any interest in avalanches."

"But yet I phoned people to ask if they heard what happened, proof that this type of news impacts on you. I bet he's going to beat the avalanche."

"Fear of Friso's fate" the Christian daily Trouw said, adding that Friso as "the Queen's favourite son, liked fast cars, golf, travel and diving. The type of man willing to take risks outside clearly marked pistes".

The prince is the second son of Queen Beatrix. After he married in 2004 without the government's permission, he was excluded from the royal family and is no longer seen as an heir to the throne, but he has kept the title Prince of Orange-Nassau.

Johan Friso has been chief financial director of Britain's Urenco group - dealing with nuclear fuel supply - since 2011, and previously worked with the investment bank Goldman Sachs.

He also holds a degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Delft and in economics from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, according to his biography on Urenco's website.

Read more on:    queen beatrix  |  the netherlands  |  austria

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


7 tips for the ultimate family camping trip

Taking the kids on a camping trip can be one of the most memorable holidays they will ever have!


Where were you when you last felt alive?

BASE jump off the world’s tallest building!
Stand up paddler rides over shark!
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.