The body of a missing walker was found by Lake District search teams yesterday. His faithful dog was keeping vigil at his side when rescuers found him.
Graham Harper, a 63-year-old holidaymaker, was found in the Newlands Valley near Keswick. He had been reported missing the previous day.
Catbells, right. Graham Harper went missing after setting out for a walk on the fells around the peak
Mr Harper had set off at noon on Wednesday from Hawse End, near the northern shores of Derwent Water, for a walk around Catbells. His disappearance led to one of the biggest searches ever mounted in the Lake District, with 150 volunteer staff, led by Keswick Mountain Rescue Team (MRT), taking part, along with an RAF search-and-rescue helicopter equipped with infra-red imaging equipment.
Seven MRTs were involved in the search, along with three search-dog crews. Mr Harper’s body was found away from the main search area by passing walkers. According to Keswick MRT, the man had a background of medical problems and the weather was poor. This led to the launch of the 22-hour search operation.
The walker, from Eastbourne, Sussex, was staying with his wife in a lodge in nearby Braithwaite. He had set off without medication needed for a long-standing condition. His body was discovered near a former mine at the head of the valley, which lies to the West of Catbells. His two-year-old labrador Sooty was standing beside the body.
A Keswick MRT spokesman said: “The events leading up to his death will probably never be fully understood, but he certainly died doing what he wanted to do.”
A further two walkers were rescued in snowy conditions on Pen-y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons by MRTs. The Brecon team responded to a mobile phone call from the pair, aged 47 and 55, and from Essex when they said they were starting to become hypothermic on the 886m (2,907ft) peak. A police helicopter took off but had to turn back because of bad weather and visibility.
Brecon MRT used parachute flares to help find the brothers who were sheltering on Corn Du. Central Beacons and Western Beacons MRTs joined the search, along with a search and rescue dog. The brothers were treated at the scene by team members.