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  Search for missing British climbers, Simon Spencer-Jones and Ian Hatcher called off


Recently rescuers called off a search for two British Climbers, Simon Spencer-Jones and Ian Hatcher.  Both climbers were last seen on July 13th when they separated from their group to try other mountains in the central Asian Republic of Tajikistan.  The experienced Mountaineers, both 26, may have been caught in an extreme blizzard, which saw 3ft of snowfall in a 2-day period. 

      Searches on land and by helicopter have failed to locate the pair.  Hatcher’s father-in-law, Stephen Temple organized a final search on the peaks where the men were last seen.  The rescue team, after scouring all the areas the climbers could have survived, returned with out even a clue of their whereabouts. Their families cried that they have given up hope in finding them alive. 

      Both men are former members of the University of Bristol Mountaineering Club.  Simon’s father, Dr. Roland Spencer-Jones posted a message to his son’s friends on the university club’s website.  He said, “Those of us closest to them are in various stages of accepting the inevitability of their having come to grief.”  Ian’s parents, Juanita and Peter Hatcher, also released a statement on the club website.  “As you can imagine, we are desperately sad,” they stated in thankfulness for the support of his friends. 

      Simon, Ian and 6 former members of the Bristol Mountaineering Club set off to Tajikistan on June 15th and were due to return to the UK on July 31st.  The pair had split from the group with an ambition to climb the 22,880ft Revolution Peak of the Fedchenko Glacier.  But soon after leaving the group the weather changed dramatically.  The rest of the group waited for the pair at base camp, but they never arrived. 

      Two helicopter searches and several land hunts failed to find the missing pair.  Canadian Ian Hatcher graduated from Bristol University in 2001.  Simon Spencer-Jones graduated from the university with a medical degree this summer

 

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