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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Two American climbers die scaling cliffs in Mallorca

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Two American men have died while scaling cliffs at a popular climbing spot on the south-east coast of Mallorca.

The pair – who were 25 and 35 and have not been named – had travelled to the Spanish island from Barcelona on Tuesday for a day’s climbing in caves near the port of Portocolom.

The area is favoured by climbers who practise deep water soloing, or psicobloc, a style of solo climbing that takes place over water in the hope of minimising injuries.

A spokesperson for the Guardia Civil in Mallorca said the alarm had been raised shortly after noon on Tuesday when nearby swimmers who had seen the pair climbing with a chalk bag spotted a body floating in the water by Cueva de es Cossi.

“A local lifeguard and some nearby swimmers provided him with first aid but were unable to revive him,” he said. “Then another body was spotted closer to the cave. The maritime rescue service arrived but there was nothing more to be done.”

In a statement, the maritime rescue service said it worked with firefighters and local police to recover the bodies, which were taken to Portocolom.

The Guardia Civil spokesperson confirmed the men had been deep water soloing and said the keys to their hire car and other personal effects had been found on the rocks. Their passports were found in the car and the US consulate was informed. An investigation has been opened and postmortems were due to take place on Wednesday.

Two of the world’s most successful climbers, Eneko and Iker Pou, expressed their condolences on Twitter.

“Consternation and a lot of pain following the news we’ve just received that two climbers died while doing psicobloc today,” they wrote. “Everything points towards a rockslide. RIP.”

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