Climbers safe after helicopter rescue mix-up

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TWO stranded climbers who used a mobile telephone to call for help were last night rescued safe and well from near the summit of Britain's highest mountain after a bizarre mix-up.

It is believed a Royal Navy helicopter tried first to rescue the wrong couple. A winchman at the end of a line told a man and woman near the summit of Ben Nevis that the helicopter had come to rescue them, sources said. But the couple said they did not need rescuing and carried on climbing the 4,400ft mountain. With weather worsening, the helicopter pulled out.

Later the search began again with the original couple by now making anxious calls to emergency services on their portable telephone. 'Darkness was beginning to fall, and they were getting worried,' a searcher said. The couple, who were not named, had become stranded on Thursday, on a ledge near the mountain's Tower Ridge.