A Royal Navy Sea King helicopter had to land after developing technical problems. Photo: Stuart Hill/MoD

A Royal Navy Sea King helicopter had to land after developing technical problems. Photo: Stuart Hill/MoD

A search and rescue helicopter had to make an unscheduled landing while taking part in an operation to help missing climbers on the UK’s highest mountain.

The Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from HMS Gannet in Ayrshire was scrambled to help Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team in the rescue on Ben Nevis earlier this morning.

A Lochaber team spokesperson said: “With the assistance of the Royal Navy R177 the climbers were located safe and well in Observatory Gully area.

“The demanding conditions when dropping off team members at the CIC hut unfortunately caused a technical failure to R177 thanks to some great airmanship they were able to land at the team base safely.”

A Royal Navy spokesman said a second Sea King was dispatched from the base at Prestwick and both aircraft and crew were currently still at the site at Fort William.

Winds in the area were forecast to reach 60mph with gusts of 90mph on the summits of the Scottish munros today. Heavy snow was due to turn to sleet and then rain later in the day.

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