David CrawleyJOHAN NILSSON / SCANPIX

It began as every parents worst nightmare. When the Hogberg family were enjoying a leisurely walk in a popular hiking area in southern Sweden their 3-year-old son Leo suddenly fell into a narrow crevice deep inside a rock.

Little Leo fell three meters into a crevice that was much too narrow for most adults to access.

Henrik and Linn Hogberg raised the alarm and for the next several hours that worked alongside emergency services as night fell and the temperatures dropped, becoming increasingly desperate to free the little boy.

But ever attempted proved less successful than the last. The boy wouldn't grasp the rope as instructed - he panicked and let go of it every time - and a brave local girl who tried to climb down to him found the space too confined.

After a five and a half hours ordeal little Leo was finally rescued by Irishman David Crawley, a climber from Ireland who happened to be passing by. Slim and athletic, Crawley managed to turn upside down and reach in far enough to grab little Leo's hand.

'I am pretty slim and could get down headfirst while the emergency services held my ankles,' Crawley told Yahoo News.

Leo's parents were elated. 'We are so terribly grateful for the fantastic input of the emergency services and the Irish climber who helped us,' Henrik Hogberg told the press after his son was safely rescued.