Mobile phone data placed the lost walkers on Ingleborough. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Mobile phone data placed the injured walker on Ingleborough. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rescuers searching for a mystery injured walker in the Yorkshire Dales were informed by police in the early hours that the woman was safe at home, 60 miles away.

The Cave Rescue Organisation was called out shortly after 9pm on Saturday when a walker called 999 to say her friend had fallen and injured herself while attempting the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

The team said, before any more information could be gathered, the phone call cut out and police controllers were unable to reconnect to the mobile phone.

A CRO spokesperson said: “All that was known was the phone network and the network’s approximation of the caller’s location: Simon Fell Breast, on the descent from Ingleborough towards Horton in Ribblesdale and the completion of the traditional route.

“Such information is not always to be relied on, but [North Yorkshire Police] and CRO calls, texts and a PhoneFind message all went unanswered, so team members began searching the area of Simon Fell Breast. When no-one was found, they began systematically to cover all other routes off the hill.

“Meanwhile, with a developing suspicion that there was no-one to find, the duty controller prevailed upon NYP to try to find a name and address for the phone number used, with a view to then connecting that with a vehicle type and registration mark, in case this helped determine a start point or absence from the area.

“The search continued and permission was granted for a police helicopter to be deployed, at first light.”

At 2.30am on Sunday, police contacted the team to say the walker’s home police force had found her almost 60 miles away, having arrived home shortly after 1am.

The spokesperson said: “Team members and Kez the search dog stood down, still wondering how someone who was injured had ‘evaded’ them and failed to tell NYP that the emergency was over; they were safe.

“The ‘mystery’ was solved to some extent the following morning, when a CRO controller who had stayed at home during the evening, phoning and texting the misper’s number, woke to find the following text had been left on his phone at about 2.30am: ‘My phone died before I could complete the call. My friend sprained her ankle but I managed to carry her down and we sought help in Clapham. We have only just arrived home. Thank you for your help’.”

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