Lighter saves mountain fall climber

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The Independent Online

A climber was plucked from a mountain ledge after he fell and used a lighter to catch the attention of a rescue helicopter.

The flickering flame was spotted by the crew of the helicopter who were using night vision goggles after they were scrambled from RAF Valley in Anglesey.

The man was part of a group of four when he fell around 370ft (113m) on Saturday near Clogwyn Coch, which is around 2,500ft (762m) up Mount Snowdon in North Wales.

He used his mobile to tell his friends he was unhurt apart from cuts and bruises.

Pilot Flight Lieutenant David Moran told the Daily Mirror: "He was flicking his lighter so that he might be spotted - and luckily the flame was just enough for us to pick up through our night goggles."

Another member of the group, who had serious injuries to his head and chest, was also airlifted to hospital after falling around 655ft (200m).

He was found shouting for help by three other climbers near the body of another man, according to Ian Henderson, of Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team.

North Wales Police named the dead man as Gwyn Norrell, 27, from the Snailbeach area of Shrewsbury.

Speaking about the rescue of the climber who waved a lighter for help, Mr Henderson said: "He is a very lucky man.

"It is also amazing the injured guy survived. We have had three fatalities in a week in almost exactly the same place.

"The mountain is covered in hard snow and people need to be prepared.

"It would be foolish not to go on to the mountain without crampons and an ice axe, and unless they know what they're doing."

Two brothers died after falling in the same area of the mountain earlier this month.

Christopher McCallion, 29, and brother James, 35, are understood to have been training for endurance events when they fell as far as 1,000ft (305m) in freezing conditions. They were discovered on February 2.

James, of Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, was expecting his first baby with wife Vanessa, while Chris, of Bristol, leaves his wife Katie and baby James.