Brit Missing in Avalanche

As darkness falls on the second day, there was still no sign of the missing British man, who disappeared after an avalanche in the Barranco de San Juan area of the Sierra de Nevada.

The two Spanish friends who had been accompanying him managed to dig themselves out but could find no sign of their friend, John Hogbin Toledo (Spanish mother and British father). All three men are in their 40’s.

Over 100 specialised, mountain-rescue workers, from both the Guardia Civil and the Spanish Army, two helicopters and dogs have been participating in the search & and rescue mission, which began at first light the following day, but experts among the rescuers put the probability of finding him alive at 99% against.

The missing, 41-year-old Brit lives in Granada town of Zafarraya, is a widower with a 4-year-old child, according to the Ideal news article published today. Together with his father and two brothers, he is a firmly established members of the local community

The avalanche occurred around midday on Sunday, catching the three friends on one of their habitual treks.
“There were tonnes and tonnes of snow – it was incredible,” remarked one of the veteran members of the rescue teams, adding, “it must have been about a kilometre wide and slid, running across approx. 700 metres in seconds.”

The corporal, who has participated in dozens of such mountain search and rescue missions, said that they had also found solid blocks of dislodged snow up to four metres high. He considered it as one of the largest avalanches that he has witnessed in his career.

According to the two survivors, the avalanche hit them as they were descending from the Posición de Veleta area. As they were not mountain climbers, but hikers, they were not attached to each other by rope.

The Guardia Civil officer in charge, Teniente Manuel Quiros, said that there was still a risk of avalanche.

One of the leaders of the G.C. rescue unit (G.R.E.I.M.) pointed out that the fact that the hikers used items of professional and necessary equipment indicates that they were not irresponsible excursionists. Sadly, however there was one piece of equipment missing; an ARV, which is an emergency beckon device which the person carries on him in his clothes in case of avalanche.
[nggallery id=65]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *