|The rescued thanking their rescuers (Image: gomeranoticias.com)|
More details have emerged of the dramatic rescue in the EL Rejo valley (see previous post). The two ladies are actually 23 years old and both are students from mainland Spain living in Tenerife. The had followed GPS instructions on their mobile phones when in the upper region of the El Rejo valley thinking their phones were showing them a shortcut to the main road through the valley after they had left the hiking path and became lost. One of them then slid about 20 metres down a steep incline and just managed to cling onto the branches of a tree above a vertical drop of 150 metres. The other girl tried to help her friend but ended up in a similar position above the gorge, also clinging to a tree.
They had already called the emergency services on 112 at around 5 pm saying that they had left the path through the valley and were lost. They then tried to get to the main road before dark using the GPS service on their phones which subsequently lead them into their precarious trap. It was night by then and weather conditions were said to be adverse with high humidity and cold gusty winds, and they were beginning to suffer from exposure.
A police helicopter from Tenerife set down three specially trained agents of the mountain police unit in the area in the early hours of the morning in 'very difficult conditions' who finally managed to locate the victims still clinging to the branches of trees above the gorge at around 04:20 am. At first light the rescuers began the laborious task of bringing the two ladies down the vertical drop of 150 metres to the bottom of the ravine in several stages with the aid of ropes and harnesses and from there a provisional path had been prepared to bring them to the waiting ambulance on the road where they arrived shaken but uninjured later that morning. Yesterday they visited the police headquarters in Santa Cruz de Tenerife to thank their rescuers.