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Six Irish people airlifted from summit of Sweden's highest peak after being stranded overnight

The group of six men climbed Kebnekaise – the highest mountain in Sweden – yesterday.

File image of the Kebnekaise mountain in Sweden.
File image of the Kebnekaise mountain in Sweden.
Image: Shutterstock/lecsposure

Updated Aug 23rd 2021, 2:30 PM

A MAJOR RESCUE operation has been carried out on the summit of Kebnekaise – the highest mountain in Sweden – after six Irish men were stranded there overnight in freezing temperatures. 

Earlier this morning, all six were airlifted off the summit of the mountain by helicopter.

President of the Swedish Mountain Rescuers National Organisation Rickard Svedjesten told The Journal that the group were not wearing proper clothing with one wearing shorts.  

They are in good health this afternoon after being rescued, Svedjesten said. 

The group travelled up the mountain yesterday morning and reached the summit. Svedjesten said weather conditions worsened on their journey down and the group got separated.

Some members of the group called emergency services during the night when temperatures plummeted as low as -10 degrees Celsius. 

swedenmapphotoshopnew Location of the Kebnekaise mountain in Sweden. Source: Emma Taggart

Svedjesten said weather conditions improved today so a rescue helicopter was able to travel up the mountain to bring down the group in two separate trips. 

Located in the far north of the country, the Kebnekaise has two main peaks and is part of the Scandinavian Mountains. The mountain is is over 2,000 metres in height. 

Svedjesten said conditions were cloudy earlier in the day and overnight so rescuers had intended to reach the summit by foot. 

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He said the Irish group had been waiting in a rescue hut to be taken down from the peak.

Phone signals are generally good on the mountain and there are also emergency phones available on the popular peak, he added.

Police in Sweden said they were contacted regarding six people who needed help coming down off the mountain. 

They said all six were rescued this morning by helicopter. 

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