A Colombian air force helicopter rescued two Polish kayakers who had been stranded for five days on a large river in the country's southern jungle, the military said Monday.

The operation was carried out on Sunday on an isolated stretch of the Yari, the river that the foreigners set out to kayak last Tuesday in Florencia, the capital of Caqueta province.

The Colombian air force announced in a communique that the kayak overturned, stranding Thomas Jefrys and Macies Taracin.

A satellite telephone the men had with them enabled them to call a female friend in Germany and report the accident, according to the military report.

The woman "undertook the necessary (efforts) through the consulate of that country for their rescue," added the air force, which mobilized a helicopter with an expert team for the search.

Images provided by the air force show that the two Poles were rescued by uniformed soldiers who rappelled down to them on ropes.

The rescuers found one of the men along the bank of the Yari and the other clinging to the kayak in the middle of the river.

Jefrys and Taracin, who traveled to Colombia three weeks ago, received medical attention at the Apiay airbase, near the central city of Villavicencio.