FOUR tourists rescued from near the summit of Britain’s highest peak are lucky to have survived, one of their rescuers has said.

The men called 999 after getting lost on Ben Nevis in blizzard conditions without proper equipment, three of them wearing trainers.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team said they had no ice axes, no crampons, apparently no map, and were not dressed for winter mountaineering.

Rescue team member Miller Harris said the men were verging on hypothermia when they were airlifted to safety, and he doubted they would have survived many more hours.

The rescue team was called out around noon on Monday and 22 members were involved in the search operation.