1 Dec, 2020 @ 17:45
1 min read

Snow may halt rescue search for British hiker Esther Dingley last seen in Spain

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SPANISH mountain rescue teams are scaling back their search in the hunt for a missing British woman who vanished while walking the Pyrenees.

Esther Dingley, 37, who has spent six years touring Europe in a campervan with partner Dan Colegate, 38, failed to return as planned from a solo walking trip on Wednesday. 

She was last in touch with him via Whatsapp over a week ago after snapping a picture of herself from the top of the Pic de Sauvegarde on the border between France and Spain.

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Colegate has been retracing Dingley’s steps in an attempt to find her but rescue teams have warned that forecasts of rain and snowfall in the next 36 hours could force them to wind down the search operation.

French authorities said six search teams had been out looking on Sunday in the area between Port de la Glère and Port de Vénasque, including a helicopter deployed on the Spanish side of the border. 

“We have looked all over our side and our colleagues in Spain have been doing the same,” Pierre Gaillard, the deputy commander of the high-mountain gendarmerie platoon told the Guardian.

“Today, we sent a helicopter up over the high ranges, but this is an area we have already searched. It’s complicated to find someone up there because part of the area is under snow. The Spanish are doing the same on their side.

“The weather is good today and it’s not possible that she went missing because she was caught up in bad weather, because the only time it was bad was the night of Thursday to Friday when there was snowfall and ice, but we were already looking for her by then.”

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