Three die in two separate incidents in Scottish hills

A total of three people have now died over the last two days in the Scottish hills, and the search for a couple who went missing at the weekend continues. A second of the three walkers rescued from Lowther Hills above Durisdeer yesterday died in hospital this lunchtime. The two fatalities were named as Geoffrey Stewart and George Crosbie, 74 and 73. The third walker in their party – Bobby Thompson – is still in hospital. The three men – described by police as experienced – were stuck overnight in the hills and were affected by hypothermia.

Colin Golphin, Moffat MRT leader, said: “The weather, although OK during the day, deteriorated rapidly overnight. The team searched the hills during the night in extremely poor conditions. Our condolences are with the family of the walkers who died.”

The hills above Durisdeer - seen in Summer conditions

The hills above Durisdeer – seen in Summer conditions

Two climbers were rescued from Creag Meagaidh yesterday following an avalanche; one has died from his injuries and the other was said to be in a serious condition.

Meanwhile a coastguard helicopter joined the search for the couple who went missing on Ben Nevis at the weekend. Avalanche risk and poor conditions had made efforts to search from both air and ground difficult. The helicopter made several passes over Ben Nevis and its surroundings today. In a joint statement, the families of the missing couple said: “We are extremely grateful to members of the emergency services and search and rescue personnel who are searching for Rachel and Tim.

“The overwhelming response from members of the public and the climbing community has greatly assisted the search effort and we appreciate all the support and words of encouragement.

“As a family we urge anyone who was in the Ben Nevis area last weekend and may have seen or spoken to Rachel and Tim at any time to get in touch. We think Rachel was climbing in a turquoise jacket and purple helmet. Tim may have been wearing a red jacket, similar to the photo in circulation. As the search continues we remain hopeful Rachel and Tim will be found and reunited with their families and friends.”

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