Walkers approach Helvellyn via Swirral Edge. Photo John Harvey CC-BY-SA-2.0

Walkers approach Helvellyn via Swirral Edge. Photo John Harvey CC-BY-SA-2.0

A walker has died after falling from England’s third highest mountain.

The 39-year-old man from Preston, Lancashire, was walking with friends on Helvellyn yesterday when he fell through a cornice near the 950m (3,117ft) summit of the Lake District mountain.

Rescuers said visibility was very poor at the time.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team was alerted at 3.30pm and a major rescue operation mounted.

A spokesperson for the team said: “The team searched for the missing person in the dark and called the support of search and rescue dogs to assist with the search.

“The team located a large avalanche on the side of Swirral Edge and ascended to the area where the avalanche appeared to have started. Not far from this point the missing person was located with serious head injuries and hypothermia.”

The man received medical aid at the scene and was then flown by RAF Sea King helicopter together with the team’s doctor, who travelled in the helicopter to help with the emergency care throughout the journey to accident and emergency.

“The man was taken to hospital in Newcastle where he received specialist trauma treatment but, sadly, the man died overnight of his injuries,” the spokesperson said.

Two Search and Rescue Dogs Association handlers and their dogs joined 20 Patterdale MRT members in the rescue operation.

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