'We're going through dozens of scenarios' - Huge search continues for missing hill-walker (60s)
Low cloud cover is hampering search and rescue efforts for a hill-walker who went missing in Co Kerry yesterday.
The missing man, who has not been identified, is from the UK and was on holiday with his wife when he decided to climb Mount Brandon, which is along the Dingle Peninsula.
Frank Heidtke, Officer In Charge with Dingle Coastguard, said that he is "hopeful" that the 60-year-old will be found this evening but admits rescue crews are still working through "dozens of scenarios."
Mr Heidtke says that around 40 people from the Dingle Coast Guard, Kerry Mountain Rescue, Shannon Coast Guard Rescue 115 and the Dingle gardai are involved in the search efforts.
He told Independent.ie: "We got the call about 8.30pm last night and we searched for three hours or so until it got dark.
"We were out again at first light this morning, the Coast Guard helicopter is due to fly again in the next hour and people on the ground are just trying to cover as much ground as possible, we've done a lot of searching today.
"Low cloud cover has impaired our visibility and as you go higher conditions deteriorate rapidly for searching."
He said that the man is used to hill-walking and was sufficiently prepared for the walk.
Mr Heidtke said: "We believe he is an experienced hill-walker and he had all of the adequate, correct equipment with him that he would have needed.
"We've gathered that he took an unconventional route that wouldn't be so popular and that makes it harder.
"Plus, walking on your own is always a risk factor.
"We're going through dozens of scenarios at the moment to try and work out what happened but we have no hot leads yet.
"The area of land is so vast that we need to keep an open mind."
The man's worried wife raised the alarm when she lost contact with him after 3pm yesterday and Mr Heidtke said he is optimistic that he may be found this evening.
He said: "We're always hopeful, we're all doing our best and hopefully we will find him as soon as possible."