Moment 'presumed dead' 80-year-old hiker turns up to his own press conference to say he's alive

Harry Harvey, 80, went missing in Gunnerside area of Richmondshire while hiking through Yorkshire Dales three days ago.

Moment ‘presumed dead’ 80-year-old hiker turns up: It led his family to hold a press conference saying they ‘feared for his safety’ and a possibility he ‘could be dead.’

Mr Harvey went missing over the weekend after he got split up from his group during a hail storm.

He was feared to be dead and his family were holding a press conference for him at the Tan Hill Inn pub in Yorkshire when he suddenly appeared.

The retired shipyard worker spent three days and three nights camping in the open and was forced to eat emergency rations including tinned beans.

Mr Harvey also said he slipped and banged his head and was ‘blind’ after losing his glasses.

Mr Harvey was then miraculously found alive by a wildlife photographer near Keld this morning – six miles away from where he got lost – and rushed to the Tan Hill Inn pub, where a police press conference was being held.

It led to gasps of disbelief then a round of applause and hugs.

More than 60 people were involved in a huge search operation involving mountain rescue teams, police helicopter, specialist search dogs and handlers – Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team, Teesdale & Weardale Mountain Rescue Team, North of Tyne Mountain Rescue, Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue, Cleveland Mountain Rescue, RAF Mountain Rescue and Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England.

‘I had three grand days of wild camping,’ Mr Harvey said.

‘I never felt scared, I had all the right kit, all the right training and I knew what to do. My biggest problem was I only had £21.05 and I didn’t think that was enough to get back home.

‘I saw a helicopter hovering overhead at one stage but I didn’t realise they were searching for me.’

Later, he added: ‘If I had known there had been all this fuss I would have made my own way home. It is not my scene at all to have a fuss. I wasn’t frightened but at one point I used my whistle but no one heard me.

‘The worst point was when I fell crossing a bridge over a stream. It was a tree across a stream with a mink trap on it. I stepped over the trap and went down and banged my head, which I patched up myself.

‘I rang my wife when I was found.  I didn’t give her chance to get angry with me. I put the phone down before she could be.’

Peter Roe, from Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team, said they had been “not hopeful” of finding Mr Harvey alive. Adding: ‘He had got lost for a couple of days in the mist on the moor then found his way to the road.

‘He had a bit of a fall but had managed to deal with it himself and was absolutely fine. We could have been walking a few yards from him and we wouldn’t have known. He’s a really nice chap.’


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