WATCH: Climbers rescued after night on Mt Beerwah
A MIRACULOUS helicopter rescue has saved two men from spending a second cold night clinging to Mt Beerwah after a climb in the Glasshouse Mountains went horribly wrong on Saturday.
Glasshouse Mountain rescue specialist Lou Spann said the pair, aged in their 20s, had been extracted successfully from the sheer face of the mountain in a dramatic rescue about 3pm yesterday.
Their long weekend adventure into the mountains began late on a Saturday afternoon and turned into a nightmare sleepover for the pair who spent the night clinging on to the mountain while rescue teams worked to locate them.
Mr Spann - an experienced rescue veteran - said the rescue had been a sight to behold.
"The pilot was incredible as visibility was very low and he just stayed there in a full hover while his crew were down on the mountain," he said.
"I've seen a lot of rescues but I've never seen flying like that. That was amazing."
A triple-zero call to police on Saturday night alerted emergency services to the disorientated climbers and a search operation started.
The search included four ascents and descents of the mountain by Glasshouse SES members and experienced climbers who worked overnight to narrow the search area.
The stranded men remained on the mountain overnight, facing cold wet temperatures that the SES reported as dropping to 5 or 6 degrees.
They were located at dawn on the eastern side of Mt Beerwah. after extensive searching overnight.
It is believed that upon descent, they became disorientated in the rainy weather.
The RACQ CareFlight Sunshine Coast rescue helicopter was tasked at 7.30am yesterday to Mt Beerwah but was unable to get to the site due to the poor weather conditions. So it sat on standby at Maroochydore airport waiting for a window of opportunity.
The climbers, although visible to rescuers, had still not been reached all day yesterday until the heavy cloud and rain cleared to allow the helicopter rescue operation to start about 3pm.
A crewman was winched down to a small ledge roughly 1.5m long where both men were. Both were fitted with a patient harness and were winched on board the aircraft.
A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said one of the climbers had a bad cut to his leg but was in a stable condition.
The men were taken to Caloundra Hospital late yesterday and were being treated for exposure, and for the cut to one man's leg.