Teams were joined in the search by the Coastguard helicopter from Humberside. Photo: Scarborough and Ryedale MRT

Teams were joined in the search by the Coastguard helicopter from Humberside. Photo: Scarborough and Ryedale MRT

A huge search failed to find a walker who went missing on the North York Moors.

Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team members stood down at 2am today after 30 hours looking for Stephen Gibson.

A team spokesperson thanked colleagues who joined the Scarborough team in the operation, which was carried out in appalling conditions on Spaunton Moor.

The spokesperson said some had travelled considerable distances to help with the search. Cleveland, Swaledale and RAF Leeming Mountain Rescue Teams were involved in the hunt for the missing 73-year-old, along with handlers and animals from the Search and Rescue Dogs Association and Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs.

The Scarborough and Ryedale MRT spokesperson said: “We would also like to thank the following volunteer teams for offering assets and help: Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team; Cave Rescue Association; Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association.

“These thanks also go out to the North York Moors Caving Club and the many members of the public who offered to help.

“Subject to any further developments the teams anticipate being asked by North Yorkshire Police to deploy tomorrow to resume searching.”

Missing walker Stephen Gibson

Missing walker Stephen Gibson

Mr Gibson became separated from a walking group on Spaunton Moor near Rosedale Chimney Bank on Wednesday in thick fog. He was reported missing at 7pm.

Police said he was last seen at about 4pm walking along a path between Lastingham and the Chimney Bank road as the fog and darkness descended. His group reported him missing when he failed to return to his vehicle.

Inspector Mike Fenton of North Yorkshire Police said: “Mr Gibson is a regular walker, is very fit and knows the area well. However we are growing concerned for his safety and fear he may have got into difficulty or has been injured. He did not have any food with him or overnight equipment.

“If anyone has seen a man matching his description in the areas around Lastingham, Rosedale and Hutton le Hole, or has given him shelter overnight, we urge you to contact the police.”

Mr Gibson, who is from Terrington near Malton, is described as white, about 5ft 10in (1.78m), with blue eyes, grey balding hair and wears glasses. He was wearing a blue and green waterproof jacket, a quilted waistcoat, breeches, boots and a tweed cap.”

The Humberside Coastguard Sikorsky S-92 search and rescue helicopter and a police helicopter also took part in the search for the walker.

Scarborough and Ryedale MRT’s spokesperson said: “Stephen is still missing and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. If you have any information at all please call North Yorkshire Police on 101.”

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