Two men believed to be British died while climbing without a rope on a huge cliff in Mallorca.
The couple were climbing a cliff between two coves in Portocolom known locally as Cala Mitjana and Cala Sa Nau when the tragedy occurred.
The alarm was raised by a witness at around 1 p.m. today and Civil Guard, Coast Guard and local police based in nearby Santanyi were dispatched to the scene.
Police reportedly found one of the dead in a cave near where he fell. The Coast Guard recovered the other body from the sea.
Rescuers said they were unable to do anything to save the men, despite performing CPR on both, and they were pronounced dead at the scene.
Earlier reports said the men were between 40 and 50 years old, although it is now understood that both were in their late twenties.
The autopsies, which must take place tomorrow, will determine whether the victims died of drowning or head injuries related to a landslide or whether they landed on rocks while falling.
The bodies of the men were transported to the port of Portocolom, near the site of the tragedy.
Two men believed to be British died while ropeless climbing on huge cliff in Mallorca
The alarm was raised by a witness around 1 p.m. today and the Civil Guard, Coast Guard and local police based near Santanyi were dispatched to the scene.
Witnesses first told rescuers that four men had climbed the cliff and rescuers began to search for a third injured ‘Briton’ and a fourth missing, although it was later found that only two men had fallen.
Although early local reports described the couple as British holidaymakers, they were later described as ‘English speakers’. Numerous media in the Balearic Islands, including Mallorca, reported that the men were “of British origin”.
There has not yet been official confirmation from the Civil Guard or the police on the nationalities of the deceased couple.
They practiced deep-water solo, also known as psicobloc, a form of solo climbing that relies solely on the presence of water at the base of a climb to protect against injury from falling tracks. generally very difficult.
It is usually done on sea cliffs at high tide but can also be done when climbing above reservoirs, rivers and even swimming pools.
Often a dinghy or other small boat is held in place to retrieve a fallen climber, as a fall from a higher route can still present the risk of unconsciousness upon impact with water, which could result in drowning.
The practice of solo deep water in Mallorca has its roots in the late 1970s.
Police reportedly found one of the dead in a cave near where he fell. The Coast Guard recovered the other body from the sea
In 1978, Miquel Riera became frustrated with the artificial climbing routes in his area, so he traveled to Porto Pi, Palma with his friends Jaume Payeras, Eduardo Moreno and Pau Bover in order to find routes they could climb freely.
It became Mallorca’s first bouldering site, and over time Riera progressed onto the sea cliffs nearby.
It was named “Psicobloc”, which, literally translated into English, means “Psycho Bouldering”.
One of the men’s bodies was recovered by a boat owned by a local diving company and the other with help from the coast guard.
A regional television channel broadcast footage of Civil Guard patrol cars waiting with their flashing sirens at the port of Portocolom as they awaited the arrival of the bodies.
Miguel Chicon, head of the Balearic Islands Maritime Rescue Center in Palma, said a witness sounded the alarm around noon.
He said: âA witness called the 999 service equivalent here in Spain to report that two men were having difficulty in the water.
âMaybe it was climbers doing what is called psicoblock here because of the type of shoes they were wearing, but that’s not something I can confirm at this point.
“A Coast Guard vessel called the Salvamar Illes Pitiuses was mobilized along with a Coast Guard helicopter called Helimar 205 and a Civil Guard helicopter with specialist GEA officers who are trained to perform underwater rescues. . “
The couple were climbing a cliff between two coves in Portocolom known locally as Cala Mitjana and Cala Sa Nau when the tragedy occurred
Chicon added: “In the end, a private vessel which was in the area recovered the body of one of the men because the water was too shallow for our vessel to approach and took it away. brought back to the port of Portocolom.
âThe body of the other man was found during a joint operation between this same private vessel and the Salvamar Illes Pitiuses.
“CPR was performed on both men, but nothing could be done to save their lives and they were pronounced dead at the scene.”
Local reports said that a “tourist witness” who saw one of the men fall performed CPR on him while he waited for help.
Well-placed sources described him as British, but said they could not confirm if he was with the two deceased men.
The Portocolom Civil Guard has launched an investigation which will be coordinated by a local court.