The body was found near Crag Hill

The body was found near Crag Hill

The body of a man was found this morning after a major search for a missing fellrunner.

Two mountain rescue teams took part in a night-time search yesterday after the 63-year-old man was reported missing when he failed to return from the Buttermere Sailbeck Fell Race.

Members of Cockermouth and Keswick Mountain Rescue Teams were joined by six search dogs after rescuers were alerted at about 8pm.

A search involving about 50 volunteer members of the two teams was mounted in poor weather conditions.

Mike Park of the Cockermouth team said the search was suspended about 3am. “We had searched all the possible areas we could in the weather and darkness,” he said.

The search resumed at 7am today with Penrith, Kirkby Stephen and Wasdale Mountain Rescue Teams joining the operation and a Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer flew to the area.

Six fresh search dogs also joined the 50 mountain rescuers on the fells.

The helicopter crew spotted a body in the Scar Crags area below Crag Hill at 9.45am today, Monday.

His body was winched on board and flown to the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle.

Mr Park said he and two or three other Cockermouth MRT members had themselves taken part in the fell race, which he said had about 100 entrants.

The team is still trying to determine what happened to the runner, but Mr Park said he had come off the race route on to difficult ground.

“It’s one of those things,” he said. “It’s why everybody goes out on to the hills, for the thrill of being in that environment but sometimes it comes back to bite us.”

The fell race involves 1,400m (4,650ft) of ascent over a 15km (9½-mile) course starting in Buttermere village.

  • Mr Park praised the actions of a consultant cardiologist and other medical staff who came across a walker on Dale Head on Saturday who was in difficulties.

The mountain rescuer said the group carried out cardio-pulmonary massage on the man for 40 minutes until a helicopter carrying a defibrillator arrived.

He said the medics had probably saved the walker’s life and likened the incident to that involving footballer Fabrice Muamba.

Mr Park urged members of the public to learn CPR techniques.

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