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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Missing walkers found after major search

Two missing walkers have been found following a massive overnight search in appalling weather conditions, involving 80 mountain rescue team volunteers and an RAF helicopter.

Forty volunteers from five mountain rescue teams - Wasdale, Langdale & Ambleside, Keswick, Kendal and Duddon - scoured the weather-beaten fells through the night until around 5.30am today after the two men called 999 last night at 9.34pm to alert police to their plight.

They had become stranded on Crinkle Crag, Great Langdale.

A further 40 mountain rescuers resumed the search early this morning together with a helicopter from RAF Valley. Nine search dogs were also used in the large-scale search which stretched across 25 sq km.

A mountain rescue leader told the News & Star that the two men, believed to be from Merseyside, were found at around 1.30pm, back inside their car that had been parked at Langdale.

Nick Owen, leader of Langdale & Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team, said: "We've been out all night, and were out again this morning.

"The men managed to walk off themselves on their own accord. It seems they'd got stuck on the upper Esk Valley and tried to bunker down last night and get some sleep before setting off again early this morning, about the same time as some of our teams were heading back out and we've missed each other.

"The weather was absolutely appalling, it was sleeting and blowing a gale. Some of our members were getting blown off their feet and the helicopter was struggling to fly this morning."

He added: "We'd put a note on the windscreen of their car for if they returned, asking them to not to leave without notifying someone. One of the search and rescue dog handlers parked beside them noticed the sign had gone and found them slumped, exhausted inside the car. They were cold, wet and quite tired."

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