The pair had last been seen on Whernside. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The pair had last been seen on Whernside. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rescuers searching for two missing Yorkshire Three Peaks walkers learnt the pair were actually on their way home in a car.

A challenge ‘co-ordinator’ who had gone to look for the men and who subsequently raised concern was also found to be safe.

None of the group that sparked the search informed police or rescuers they had safely made their way from the fells.

The Cave Rescue Organisation was alerted about 9.45pm on Saturday after the two walkers were reported overdue on the challenge, having last been seen on Whernside about 4pm.

A team spokesperson said: “When questioned by North Yorkshire Police’s force control room staff, the caller admitted that the pair had ‘no plan; not sure appropriate provisions for the night; were following the path; no plan of route; were following others; no maps’.

“While some team members were heading to CRO Base at Clapham, and the rest were on stand-by, PhoneFind messages were sent to the mobile phones of the two ‘mispers’ and their ‘co-ordinator’ who had gone looking for them.

“One misper responded and appeared to be in the middle of the road near Holme Farm, Horton in Ribblesdale, but there was no response from the other, or from their ‘co-ordinator’.

“A controller drove to Horton and interviewed ‘a friend’ of the group, who said that the mispers were in a car on their way home and that the ‘co-ordinator’ was also safe.”

The police said they had not been advised of the safe return. The team spokesperson said: “Further questioning by the controller revealed that the pair had come down from Whernside and paid ‘a farmer’ to drive them back to Horton.

“Avoidable in how many ways?”

The same evening, the team was alerted to a 36-year-old walker who had been reported overdue from a walk on Ingleborough, but police informed the controller that she had turned up safe and well and no action was needed by Cave Rescue Organisation members.

The first incident of a busy day for the team was at 9.30am on Saturday when a 31-year-old walker suffered a seizure near the summit of Pen-y-ghent.

The man was reported to be unconscious but breathing on the upper tier of rocks below the fell’s summit.

The spokesperson said: “When he regained consciousness, his companions and a passing doctor moved him to the shelter of the ridge wall as the weather was a bit wild.

“Team members assembled near Dale Head, as the air ambulance circled overhead. With the cloudbase just above the summit, paramedics assessed the patient, but asked the team to keep moving forward, in case the cloud lowered further.

“The patient was put into the Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopter, without CRO assistance, and flown to hospital.”

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