TWO Dutch tourists who found themselves isolated in Southern Snowdonia have been rescued, as 4x4 tourism becomes more popular in North Wales.

The travellers, both experienced 4x4 drivers, were following a mountain track in Happy Valley (Cwm Maethlon), near Pennal, struggled with the unpredicatble terrain and got stuck in the mud.

After alerting North Wales Police, the non-emergency call was passed to the North Wales 4x4 Response Group, a team of volunteers co-ordinated by Prestatyn-based Leigh Ryder.

“To be perfectly clear, they were on a road that has vehicular rights and is perfectly legal,” said a North Wales 4x4 Response Group spokesperson.

North Wales Chronicle: The 4x4 being winched out of the mud. Photo: North Wales 4x4 Response GroupThe 4x4 being winched out of the mud. Photo: North Wales 4x4 Response Group

“It is out of repair and their only mistake was not checking that a large puddle had no stone base.”

The pair were stranded for six hours, as two specialist 4x4 teams battled to winch them free.

In a post on Facebook, team coordinator Leigh Ryder said: “These Dutch visitors had a long wait for our trained volunteers to arrive to recover them from the bog hole on Happy Valley.

“Took 20 hours of volunteer time and nearly 300 miles of driving to safely get them out.

North Wales Chronicle: Before and after the rescue. Photo: North Wales 4x4 Response GroupBefore and after the rescue. Photo: North Wales 4x4 Response Group

“In this case they were lucky, they had phone signal, many do not.

“Luckily they had proceeded with caution and not got the whole vehicle submerged to the chassis.

“Most experienced 4x4 drivers will advise you never go alone, for many of us it’s from bitter personal experience.

“Apparently nine hours stuck in a mud hole, pouring down rain, on a remote Welsh mountain, going dark, dressed up on the way to a restaurant whilst on a family holiday is not the best way to spend a Saturday night - who would have known?”

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