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Missing hiker, 80, turns up at own press conference just as family were about to broadcast appeal

Written by on 8 September 2020

An 80-year-old hiker who was lost for three nights in the Yorkshire Dales has appeared at his own press conference just as his family were about to broadcast an appeal for help to find him.

Harry Harvey, from Tynemouth in Tyne and Wear, got separated from other walkers during a heavy hail storm after setting out on Saturday.

He was reported missing at lunchtime on Sunday, and police, mountain rescue volunteers and an RAF search and rescue team spent two days looking for him.

Harry Harvey hit his head falling into a stream. Pic: Facebook/Tan Hill Inn

He was discovered on Tuesday lunchtime by a wildlife photographer who had seen appeals for information and spotted Mr Harvey waving at her, police said.

Speaking after being reunited with his children, he explained that he had missed a turning, but did not panic and moved on to “plan B straight away”.

That involved finding somewhere to pitch his tent and keeping warm.

He was not worried, he said, because he had “all the kit and all the training”.

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Speaking at Britain’s highest pub – the Tan Hill Inn in Swaledale, which is 1,732 feet (528m) above sea level – Mr Harvey said there was a “howling gale” when he suddenly found himself on his own.

Harry Harvey. Pic: Facebook/Tan Hill Inn
Mr Harvey camped in the Yorkshire Dales for three nights. Pic: Facebook/Tan Hill Inn

He has a bandage on his forehead, after hitting it while falling into a stream.

He said he was aware that people were on the hillsides, but did not realise they were looking for him, adding that he was very thankful for the search efforts.

Inspector Mark Gee, from North Yorkshire Police, said it was “fantastic news that Harry has been found safe and well”.

He added: “I want to thank all the search volunteers for their time, as well as gamekeepers, estate owners, farmers and local residents for their help and understanding.

“Thanks also to the Tan Hill, who looked after the volunteers and Mr Harvey’s family.”