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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 January 2007, 17:09 GMT
Three trapped canoeists rescued
Canoeist (generic)
The three rescued men were from a canoeing club in Essex
Three canoeists have been rescued from a swollen Snowdonia river after they were trapped on rocks.

Firefighters and Ogwen Mountain Rescue Team used ropes to reach them beneath a narrow bridge near a gorge in the River Conwy, near Betws-y-Coed.

The river was described as torrential after days of rain at Conwy Falls, alongside the main A5 road.

An RAF helicopter hovered above but returned to base when the men from an Essex canoeing club were secured.

None of the three was injured, but one was treated by paramedics for the effects of the cold.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service were called out shortly before 1430 GMT on Saturday after the canoeists got into trouble because of rising water levels.

Several fire crews were sent to the scene, along with the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team, and a helicopter was scrambled from RAF Valley on Anglesey.

Initial reports said one of the canoeists was clinging onto a bridge by one hand, and the two other were trying to avoid being swept downstream.

Fire officers were lowered by rope to save one canoeist.

The rescue operation was completed within about two hours of the first call.

The alarm was raised by a friend of the three men.

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