Wales

Stackpole night rock climb sparks major rescue effort

Rescue helicopter Image copyright HM Coastguard Tenby
Image caption Coastguards, the RNLI, police and a rescue helicopter were deployed

A pair of night time rock climbers sparked a six-hour rescue effort after emergency services found their belongings at the top of a cliff.

The coastguard, RNLI, police and a rescue helicopter were deployed at Stackpole, Pembrokeshire "due to the high concern for their welfare".

Two men at the bottom said they planned to climb the cliff, coastguards said, adding that the weather was poor.

Coastguards asked those planning high-risk pursuits to tell them in advance.

Image copyright HM Coastguard Tenby
Image caption Rescue teams returned when the climbers had not made it up the cliffs after several hours

The belongings were spotted at 21:10 BST on Thursday and passers-by reported seeing two men leaving a car park earlier that day.

Lifeboats and a helicopter were called out to help with a search "due to the high concern for their welfare", Dyfed-Powys Police said.

The men were found safe and well at 23:00 BST and confirmed they still planned to complete the climb, the coastguard said.

Milford Haven Coastguard added rescue teams returned several hours later when the climbers still had not made it to the top - but they both insisted they were not in danger.

Image copyright HM Coastguard Tenby
Image caption Coastguards have urged anyone planning high-risk activities to warn them in advance

The operation was stood down at 03:00 BST on Friday when the men reached the top of the cliffs.

A Milford Haven Coastguard spokesman asked anyone planning to embark on high-risk activities to warn them in advance.

"If you're going to do an activity, we're not going to discourage or warn you against it, what I would say is let us know," he said.

"If we'd have known they [the climbers] were there, we would have dealt with the incident quite differently."

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