February 9, 2009

Lighter flame leads to rescue

A helicopter rescue team said a climber who fell 370 feet on Wales' Snowdon mountain was spotted after sparking his cigarette lighter.

The rescue team said the 25-year-old man, who suffered only cuts and bruises, was located from 8 miles away after team members using night vision goggles noticed the flame of his lighter, The Daily Mail reported Monday.

He had flicked the lighter so that he might be spotted, and the flame was just enough to be seen through our night vision goggles, a crew member said.

The rescue team said they helped a total of 25 distressed climbers during the 4 1/2-hour operation Saturday.

Ian Henderson of the Llanberis mountain rescue team said it was sad and frustrating that climbers had apparently ignored warnings about treacherous conditions.

No one should be on the mountain without crampons (spiked footwear) and an ice ax, and unless they know what they are doing, he said.