SYDNEY • Three young men stuck in a crevasse on Australian tourist attraction Uluru, the world's largest monolith, have been rescued after a challenging hours-long operation that stretched late into the night.
Rescuers battling strong winds abseiled 320m to reach the stranded Australians, all 22, after they reportedly wandered off a well-worn path while climbing the iconic symbol of the Outback on Monday.
The rescuers were flown by helicopter to the top of the giant red rock, which rises 348m above the desert, to start the complex 16-hour process of extracting them.
"There were very strong winds that kept tangling the rope," Northern Territory (NT) Emergency Service volunteer Alan Leahy said.
The men became stranded about noon local time, but it was not until about 11.30pm that the rescuers reached them .
"Where they were situated was very steep and we couldn't get them to climb up from where they were," NT Emergency Service regional manager Claire Barker told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "So our guys had to start from the top of the rock to where they were and pluck them off... It's actually very arduous and very difficult."