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Last Updated: Monday, 6 March 2006, 22:48 GMT
Dead UK climbers in Spain named
Three British climbers found dead in Spain's Sierra Nevada mountains after becoming stranded have been named.

The Foreign Office said the men were Colin Riddiough, Paul Dick and John Plews, all of Cleveland.

Their bodies were found the day after a fourth member of the party - the son of one of the victims - managed to reach a village to alert the authorities.

The men are thought to have suffered hypothermia after a snowstorm, according to police.

A Spanish Civil Guard spokesman added that they had not been equipped with proper clothing and footwear.

A spokesman for the UK Foreign Office said the group were thought to have started the trek in the southern region of Andalucia on Thursday or Friday.

Rescue hampered

The alarm was raised on Sunday afternoon when the son of one of the men turned up in the village of Capileira to seek help.

"The weather conditions became so treacherous that they made a shelter for the night," the Foreign Office spokesman said.

"It seems one of them made it down and alerted the search and rescue teams."

Europe's second-highest mountain range after the Alps
Houses the Spanish mainland's highest peak, the Mulhacen
Temperatures can be 14C less than surrounding valleys
Close to the tourist spots of the Costa del Sol and Granada

A mountain rescue team from Spain's Civil Guard aided by a helicopter had to call off its search at nightfall on Sunday due to bad weather.

The team on Monday found the bodies in a hole in the snow on the south side of the 11,414ft-tall Mulhacen, mainland Spain's highest peak.

The bodies were taken to a nearby town for post-mortem examination, the Civil Guard spokesman said.

The Sierra Nevada, which has some of the highest mountains in Europe, is a year-round draw for hikers, climbers and skiers.

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