Stranded men saved themselves

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Two workers stranded overnight on a power line high above a Norwegian fjord finally managed to save themselves on Tuesday after helicopter rescue efforts failed. Rescue crews were able to get ropes to them, and the men lowered themselves down to a waiting boat.

Increasingly stormy weather boosted the need to get the men down from their basket that got stuck on the power line over the Nordfjord on Monday. Strong winds and rain made it difficult and dangerous to airlift the men from the basket but a helicopter was able to lower a rope and security gear to the stranded power line workers.

Another plan called for a specially trained alpine rescue crew to venture out to the men in another basket, and help lower them down to the waiting boat. They established contact with the stranded men and aided them in how to use the ropes and hooks and get themselves down.

“The alpine crew has been in dialogue with the two men and both were ready and comfortable with trying to lower themselves down,” a spokesman for the men’s employer, Sogn og Fjordane Energi, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

By early afternoon, both men were safely down and all involved in the drama could heave sighs of relief.

The men were said to be cold, wet and exhausted after being stuck in the cramped basket for nearly 24 hours, around 100 meters above the fjord. They were sent to a local medical center for check-ups but were believed to be physically uninjured.

They walked to a waiting ambulance themselves and smiled and waved at photographers before being driven off.

For photos of the drama over the fjord, go to NRK’s coverage here (external link, in Norwegian).

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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