Watch: Daring helicopter rescue saves British climbers in French Alps

The helicopter’s rotor blades got very close to the mountain as the trio were winched to safety near Mont Blanc

French emergency services mounted a daring rescue of three climbers trapped on the Aiguille du Dru. The red arrow shows where they were trapped
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Three British climbers were saved after becoming trapped on a snowy ridge in the French Alps.

A daring helicopter rescue saw them winched to safety.

Video footage posted to the Twitter account of France’s civil defence agency - Sécurité Civile - shows how close the helicopter got to the Les Drus mountain.

It shows the rotor blades of the Dragon 74 helicopter almost skimming the mountainside as the pilot positions it above the trapped climbers.

“To rescue the victims, the helicopter’s crew carried out hoist operations on the mountainside,” Sécurité Civile said on Twitter.

Its video shows the helicopter carefully hoisting the climbers to safety at the end of a long rope.

French broadcaster TF1 reports the three mountaineers were British and were trapped after a thunderstorm rolled across the mountain last week.

Read more: Mont Blanc three metres shorter than in 2010 - and 16 more peak facts

Pilot Richard Peyre told the channel the rescue pilots were “practically acrobats” in the way they managed to get so close to the trapped climbers.

Les Drus, or the Aiguille du Dru, where the climbers were trapped, has a peak of 3,754 metres.

It is part of the Mont Blanc massif, which is dominated by Western Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, which is 4,807 metres (15,774 feet) high. It draws thousands of tourists every year, whether to scale its peak or hike in the surrounding valleys.

In August 2022, a local mayor said conditions on the mountain were now so dangerous, budding climbers should pay €15,000 to cover rescue and possible funeral costs.

There are around 100 rescues recorded on Mont Blanc alone every year, according to TF1.

Credit: Richard Zanettacci / Alamy Stock Photo

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