Police in the southern German region of Bavaria say their biggest-ever helicopter rescue operation saved 14 Indonesian students who misjudged the weather during a spring hike in the Alps.

The 23- to 25-year-old-students called for help late Sunday after becoming lost amid heavy snowfall at an altitude of 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) in the Watzmannkar valley near Austria. Bavarian police said Monday that helicopters with heat-seeking cameras were scrambled and together with mountain rescue teams were able to locate the students.

Spokesman Juergen Thalmeier said the students were rain-soaked and chilled from the cold but otherwise unharmed. None had the equipment or clothing needed for a hike in snowy high-Alpine terrain.