Wales

Missing North Stack climbers: bodies in sea 'roped together'

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Media captionA search ended when the bodies were found in the water

Investigations are continuing into the deaths of two climbers whose bodies were found in the sea by search crews on the coast of Anglesey.

Inquests have been opened and adjourned on Vaughan Richard Holme, 48, of Horsham, Sussex, and Jack Hutton-Potts, 23, of Petersfield, Hampshire.

They were reported missing on Saturday night. People close to the scene said the bodies were roped together.

A search ended when the bodies were found in water near North Stack.

The alarm was raised just after 22:00 BST on Saturday when the climbers failed to meet friends. Search crews worked through until 01:00 BST on Sunday, but only found two rucksacks.

The search resumed at 04:30 BST on Sunday and, as the tide was going out, the bodies of two men were spotted by a search and rescue helicopter from RAF Valley on Anglesey.

They were in the sea close to where the men had been climbing and they were roped together as they would have been if they had been climbing together.

The cliffs at Gogarth Bay are popular with climbers.

One climbing website says the climbs are adventurous and serious, and suited to competent and serious climbers.

It says many of the routes are affected by the tide and there are often loose rocks.

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Media captionOutdoor pursuits expert Andy Middleton said even the best climbers can come unstuck

The weather conditions were described as "challenging" by one rescuer who said there was a strong wind blowing towards the shore, and the sea was quite rough throughout Saturday and into Sunday morning.

Three lifeboat crews took part in the search around both North and South Stack before two bodies were recovered by the RNLI crew from Trearddur Bay lifeboat.

North west Wales coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones adjourned an inquest at Caernarfon until a date to be fixed.

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Media captionThe men's bodies were recovered from the sea at Gogarth Bay by the Holyhead lifeboat crew

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