NEWS
10/09/2020 12:52 PM AEST

Missing Hiker Shows Up At Press Conference About His Own Disappearance

Octogenarian Harry Harvey was missing for three nights after getting separated from his walking partner in a hailstorm.

An 80-year-old who went missing while hiking in northeast England had an emotional reunion with his family when he turned up as police were making a public appeal over his disappearance.

Harry Harvey was reported missing around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday after he was separated from his walking partner the day before while hiking in the Yorkshire Dales during bad weather. 

A major search involving police, the Royal Air Force and more than 100 mountain rescue workers had been unsuccessful. Police had said that Harvey was an experienced walker, but they were extremely concerned for his welfare due to the length of his disappearance in cold, wet conditions, the BBC reported.

On Tuesday morning, a wildlife photographer saw Harvey waving at her from near the village Keld, which is roughly 6 miles from his last known location.

His family was set to hold a police media appeal later at the Tan Hill Inn. As the meeting was about to start, the octogenarian arrived at the inn in a Land Rover with a mountain rescue team. Videos show members of his family rushing to embrace him.

In an interview livestreamed by the Tan Hill Inn after his arrival, Harvey, with a bandage across his forehead, said that he’d been caught in a heavy hailstorm and gale winds when he was separated. 

He said he’d had “three really good wild camping nights” on his own.

“Where we got separated, it was absolutely desolate. There’s not chance of putting up a tent there, that’s for sure,” he said. “So I had to find somewhere safe, which is what I did.”

He wasn’t worried, he told freelance journalist Tom Barton.

“Had all the kit I needed,” he said. “Only thing I was getting a bit short of was, I’ve got a hell of an appetite.”

Harvey could see search teams at one point, he added, but didn’t realize they were looking for him.

He said the bandage on his head was to cover an injury sustained when he fell crossing a bridge over a stream.

In an interview, his daughter-in-law, whose name was not given, said “he’s had a blast, we’ve had a nightmare.” 

His son, Phil Harvey, said his dad was “grounded.”

The photographer who found him, Annette Pyrah, told BBC she cried when she realized it was the missing hiker. She’d heard he was missing and “thought after three days he’s not going to be found.”

“I just looked up at the fell and this gentleman waved at me. I got out of my car and I said, ‘Are you Harry? Have you been missing for three days?’ And he said yes,” she said. “And I started crying.” 

The Swaledale Mountain Rescue team said in a statement on Facebook: “Great news Harry Harvey has been found safe and well on the moor near Tan Hill. Over 100 mountain rescue members have been involved in the successful search over the last three days. Thanks also for the substantial support offered by local people.”