Wednesday 19 June 2019

New search to start for missing Irish climber on Mount Everest

Trinity College professor and climber Seamus Lawless
Trinity College professor and climber Seamus Lawless

Markus Krug

The search for Irish climber Seamus Lawless, who fell during his descent from Mount Everest last week, will resume on Thursday morning.

A group of nine climbers, led by Irish mountaineer Noel Hanna, will begin another search operation according to the Himalayan Times. 

They will start this new recovery operation above Camp IV, where the Trinity College professor had originally gone missing.

Mingma Sherpa, the chairman of Seven Summit Treks, which organised Mr Lawless’s original expedition announced this new search operation.

“The (Noel) Hanna-led team will leave for Camp IV from the base camp later this evening. The team, equipped with search and recovery equipment will try its best to recover Mr Lawless,” he said.

Seamus Lawless went missing at an altitude of 8300 metres during his descent from Mount Everest on May 16. It is believed that he had slipped from an area known as the balcony near the summit.

Previous search efforts had been unsuccessful and had been complicated by poor weather conditions. Today’s effort marks the first time that a search team returns to the exact area of his fall.

In order to keep the search going, Mr Lawless’s family has called for the public’s help and has set up a GoFundMe page. Over €250,000 has been donated so far.

The family also announced on the page that the insurance company that had provided a policy for Mr Lawless “are currently not providing assistance with the search and rescue.”

Tanaiste Simon Coveney said earlier in the week that he had spoken to Mr Lawless's wife Pamela several times over the weekend and had discussed how the authorities could help.

“I have spoken to Pamela his wife on a number of occasions over the last 24 hours,” he told RTE on Sunday.

“She is a remarkable woman and she is going through a nightmare that many of us simply can’t imagine.”

He added: “We are willing to offer any support we can, either financial or organisational, she knows that.”

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