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Tributes paid to 28-year-old walker killed in Ben Nevis tragedy

Samuel Crawford died on Tuesday after a fall of nearly 1,000ft on Ben Nevis.
Samuel Crawford died on Tuesday after a fall of nearly 1,000ft on Ben Nevis.

Tributes have been paid to a walker killed after plunging nearly 1,000ft on Ben Nevis.

Samuel Crawford, from Belfast, was descending the UK’s mountain when he fell at Red Burn on Tuesday.

Other members of his walking party got into difficulty, along with a small number of soldiers who happened to be in the area and tried to help.

Nearly 40 members of Lochaber and Glencoe mountain rescue teams – together with members of a police mountain rescue team – worked to reach the stricken walkers.

Mr Crawford, 28, was, however, pronounced dead at the scene.

Two of the soldiers, aged 29 and 37, also suffered minor injuries on their way back down the mountain and were taken to hospital.

Tributes paid to ‘a wonderful man’

“Shocked and saddened” friends and family have now paid tributes to Mr Crawford on social media.

The Sandown Free Presbyterian Church has also shared a video of his testimony made in December 2020 to commemorate the “wonderful man”.

Take time to listen to Samuel’s testimony. Do you know Samuel’s Saviour? Are you ready? Are you saved?

Posted by Sandown Free Presbyterian Church on Thursday, 10 March 2022

On Facebook, John McVeigh wrote: “Shocked and saddened to hear the tragic news of Samuel’s passing. Remembering Samuel’s wife and family circle in prayer, particularly Shirley as this difficult time.”

Andrea Rees-Ackley posted: “So sorry to hear of this. A wonderful man. My sympathies and prayers to the whole family.”

Conor Bannister wrote: “My best friend, gone to be with his Saviour. Love you Sam, never forget you.”

Increase in incidents with ‘serious consequences’

Mr Crawford is one of six people who have died in the mountains in the last two weeks, with rescue teams warning of a significant increase in call-outs across the country.

Police mountain rescue coordinator Inspector Matt Smith has urged people to take care and extreme caution when going outdoors climbing or hiking.

He said: “It is vitally important to understand the risks of your activity, the experience of your group, the prevailing weather conditions during, and at your intended destination and that suitable equipment is carried to allow you to navigate safely over steep or icy terrain.

“Make a plan, don’t be afraid to adapt and make sure you think about what to do if things go wrong.”

People who find themselves into difficulty while in the mountains are urged to dial 999 and ask for help from police and mountain rescue.

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