Polish and French gov'ts to cover costs of Nanga Parbat rescue

The governments of Poland and France have decided to cover the costs of last week's rescue operation on Pakistan's Nanga Parbat mountain, Anna Solska, widow of Polish mountaineer Tomasz Mackiewicz announced on Facebook on Friday.

"I've just received news that the Polish government has taken a decision to cover the costs of the rescue operation on Nanga Parbat (together with the French government)," Anna Solska wrote. "With all my heart I would like to express my deep gratitude to the government of the Republic of Poland, the Consul of the Republic of Poland in Pakistan and Mr Zbigniew Wyszomirski, advisor to the Polish embassy in Islamabad."

"All the funds collected will be given to the children. Thank you in the name of Tomasz Mackiewicz and the children: Maxymilian Wit Mackiewicz, Zoja Antonina Mackiewicz and Antonina Maria Mackiewicz.

On Sunday, rescuers managed to bring down French climber and Mackiewicz's partner Elizabeth Revol from Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world (8,126 metres, or 26,660 feet). They could not reach Mackiewicz, who was stranded at about 7,200 metres and suffering from snow blindness.

Mackiewicz and Revol had attempted a winter ascent of the peak, which is notoriously difficult to climb. After reaching the summit - according to Revol - they began their descent, becoming stranded due to bad weather.