Tourists get stranded on Uluru

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - ESCAPE YOUR TRAVEL -

Three men be­came stuck on Uluru af­ter ig­nor­ing pleas by the site’s tra­di­tional own­ers not to climb the Aus­tralian land­mark.

A del­i­cate res­cue op­er­a­tion took place to winch the stranded climbers off the rock.

The three men, aged 23, first got into trou­ble when they veered off the des­ig­nated path­way into a re­stricted zone and be­came stuck in a crevice.

Late Mon­day night vol­un­teers from the North­ern Ter­ri­tory Emer­gency Ser­vice’s spe­cial­ist ver­ti­cal res­cue team had reached the men and were pre­par­ing to ab­seil them to safety, af­ter many hours work­ing to se­cure ab­seil­ing an­chors.

Mel­bourne man David Rowe was hol­i­day­ing at Uluru with his fam­ily and could see the stranded men stuck about 100 me­tres from the base of the rock.

‘‘They ac­tu­ally got three quar­ters or even more down the face of the rock in the wrong spot,’’ he said.

‘‘They got to the point where it’s too steep to do the fi­nal bit, but too hard to go up again.’’

Al­though climb­ing Uluru is not pro­hib­ited, the tra­di­tional own­ers of the rock, the Anangu, ask that peo­ple ‘‘re­spect our law and cul­ture’’ by not ven­tur­ing onto the scared site.

Tourists who visit Uluru are also warned that the climb can be dan­ger­ous. It has been widely re­ported than more than 35 peo­ple have died scal­ing the sand­stone gi­ant, in­clud­ing peo­ple who have had heart at­tacks on the climb.

In June last year a Tai­wanese man was trapped on Uluru for over 24 hours af­ter fall­ing 20m into a crevice, sus­tain­ing mul­ti­ple limb frac­tures and head in­juries.

Tourists needed to be res­cued af­ter get­ting stuck on Uluru.

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