Australia

Australian men rescued from Uluru after 11-hour operation

The traditional owners of Uluru ask that visitors do not venture onto the granite landmark Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The traditional owners of Uluru ask that visitors do not venture onto what they believe to be a sacred site

Three Australian men stranded on the landmark Uluru have been rescued after an 11-hour operation.

Rescue volunteers reached the men via helicopter and abseiled them to safety early on Tuesday. Police said there were no injuries.

The men ventured off the designated pathway on Monday and became stuck in a crevice on the rock formation in the Northern Territory.

It is not prohibited to climb the site, also known as Ayers Rock.

However, the traditional owners of the landmark, the Anangu, ask that people "respect our law and culture" by not venturing onto the sacred site.

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Media captionThis year marks 31 years since Uluru was given back to the indigenous people

It is understood the men - all 23 years old - scaled down to see a waterfall but became stuck and were unable to climb back up.

Tourists are warned that the climb can be dangerous. More than 35 people have died scaling the sandstone monolith.

An emergency services spokeswoman said the "avoidable" incident would be costly with a helicopter and rock-climbing used in the rescue effort.

"They were all quite hungry but they were fine, they had sufficient water with them and weren't dehydrated," she told The Sydney Morning Herald.

"It's really important that people stay within the designated areas when they're doing bushwalks so that they don't come into harm's way."

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