A man from Port aux Basques credits his friend with saving his life after he was pinned under his snowmobile for nearly three hours.

Rick Sheaves said he left his cabin on his machine on March 6, going over a bank in a snow squall.

He said a whiteout came out of nowhere and he couldn't see properly, forcing him to stop on the snow bank.

Sheaves said the bank suddenly gave way, and he and his snowmobile went tumbling down into the snow.

The machine pinned the upper half of his body, burying him in snow from the waist up and injuring his head.

'My breathing started to fade and I figured I was on my way out then' - Rick Sheaves, pinned under snowmobile

Sheaves said after two and a half hours without anyone discovering him, he started to lose hope.

"[The blood] was going in the back of my throat, and I ended up throwing up three times, and after that my breathing started to fade and I figured I was on my way out then," he said.

"I was there long enough and nobody hadn't showed up, so I said that I was peacefully right, just laid back, short of breath. I figured any time at all I was going to pass on."

Neighbours to the rescue

However, Sheaves' friend Darrell Neil had stopped in at his house to see him and realizing no one had seen him, went out to his cabin to look for his missing friend.

Neil said when he approached the cabin and spotted the tail light of the snowmobile, he thought the worst

"First thing come to my mind, the Ski-Doo ain't got him, then the snow got him by now — he's been under there three hours," Neil said.

But when he spotted Sheaves' legs moving, he said he instantly jumped to action.

"I said well he's still alive, so I jumped off my Ski-Doo and ran down over the hill, and I sung out to him and he spoke back to me. So I dug his face out trying to get more air to him," Neil said.

Neil said the machine was too heavy for him to move on his own, so he went and found some neighbours to help lift it off Sheaves.

An ambulance was called to the scene, and took Sheaves to hospital.

He now has 23 stitches in his head, and still can't move one of his arms, but said he couldn't be more grateful for the help of his friend.